Argentina edge Wallabies in Gold Coast thriller

 David Pocock (Getty)
David Pocock (Getty)

Gold Coast - Argentina scored their first win over Australia on Australian soil in 35 years when they downed the Wallabies 23-19 on Queensland's Gold Coast on Saturday.

As it happened: Australia v Argentina

After leading Australia 17-14 at the break, the Pumas held off a spirited comeback from the Wallabies to record a famous win.

The Wallabies scored three tries to two but were undone by poor discipline, with Nicholas Sanchez and Emiliano Boffelli kicking three penalties between them.

It was Argentina's first win over the Wallabies in Australia since 1983 and consigned the Wallabies to their fifth loss in their last six test matches.

Pumas coach Mario Ledesma said his players had the most difficult task in the Rugby Championship.

"It's really difficult because we travel more than any other team, not only (in the Rugby Championship) but in Super Rugby too," he said.

"It's difficult to keep that motivation going, but they do it and it's a pleasure to work with them."

In a match played in perfect conditions, both teams attempted to play attacking rugby throughout.

But a host of handling errors meant the second half in particular lacked fluency and developed into an arm-wrestle between two evenly matched sides.

Australia had plenty of chances to win the match in the second half but dropped the ball too many times to let the Pumas off the hook.

They should have scored the winning try after the siren when the otherwise brilliant Israel Folau held onto the ball instead of passing to an unmarked Bernard Foley three metres from the line.

Folau then lost possession when hit in a tackle by three Argentine defenders and the match was over.

"We lacked enthusiasm in the key moments," Australian coach Michael Cheika said.

"We had a lot of opportunities, big overlaps, chances to score gone because of a lack of clarity and a lack of enthusiasm."

The first half had featured some brilliant back play from both sides, who relished playing under clear skies and on a perfect pitch.

The Pumas opened the scoring in just the third minute thanks to a 52-metre penalty from fullback Boffelli.

The Wallabies hit back when scrumhalf Will Genia took an inside ball from Reece Hodge to score beside the posts.

Matt Toomua converted to make it 7-3, but the Pumas hit back immediately when inside centre Jeronimo De La Fuente broke the line and popped a ball to flyhalf Sanchez to score.

Folau then put Australia back in front with a brilliant individual try in the corner when he beat five players on his way to the try line.

However, Argentina had the last say of the half with a superb try of their own, Bautista Delguy dancing through the Wallaby tacklers to finish off a move that began on their own 22 when flanker Pablo Matera broke the defence and charged 50 metres upfield before finding his right winger.

Delguy still had plenty to do, but he stepped off his right foot then shrugged off the tackle of fullback Dane Haylett-Petty to put the visitors back in front.

Sanchez kicked a penalty eight minutes after the restart to open a six-point lead.

But the Wallabies came back to within one point thanks to a Haylett-Petty try in the corner, before a second monster Boffelli penalty took the score to 23-19.

Despite huge pressure from the home side, the Pumas held on to win for the first time since beating the Wallabies at Ballymore in Brisbane in 1983.

The Rugby Championship enjoys a bye next weekend, after which Australia will travel to Port Elizabeth to face the Springboks (Saturday, September 29 at 17:05), while Argentina host the All Blacks in Buenos Aires later in the day (Sunday, September 30 at 00:40 SA time).



15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Israel Folau, 13 Reece Hodge, 12 Matt Toomua, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Kurtley Beale, 9 Will Genia, 8 Pete Samu, 7 David Pocock (captain), 6 Lukhan Tui, 5 Izack Rodda, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Scott Sio

Substitutes: 16 Folau Faingaa, 17 Sekope Kepu, 18 Taniela Tupou, 19 Adam Coleman, 20 Ned Hanigan, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Bernard Foley, 23 Jack Maddocks


15 Emiliano Boffelli, 14 Bautista Delguy, 13 Matias Moroni, 12 Jeronimo de la Fuente, 11 Ramiro Moyano, 10 Nicolas Sanchez, 9 Gonzalo Bertranou, 8 Javier Ortega Desio, 7 Marcos Kremer, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Tomas Lavanini, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Santiago Medrano, 2 Agustin Creevy (captain), 1 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro

Substitutes: 16 Julian Montoya, 17 Santiago Garcia Botta, 18 Juan Pablo Zeiss, 19 Matias Alemanno, 20 Juan Manuel Leguizamon, 21 Martin Landajo, 22 Bautista Ezcurra, 23 Juan Cruz Mallia

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