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Argentina

Rosario victory for Wallabies

07th October 2012 01:52

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Australia ended the inaugural Rugby Championship with a morale-boosting 25-19 win against Argentina in Rosario.

It wasn't pretty but one feels the Wallabies won't mind that as the success supersedes a forgetful period of injuries and off-field issues (hopefully).

What was noticeable at the final whistle was a togetherness in the squad as they celebrated their gritty victory over the passionate Pumas.

The result leaves them level on points with South Africa but they ultimately finish the tournament in second position due to their higher win count.

Conditions were difficult at the Estadio Gigante de Arroyito as the humidity was 93%, which made for an error-strewn contest particularly in the first-half.

There was also a phenomenally high penalty count blown by the match referee Craig Joubert as a total of sixteen marred the opening stanza.

Subsequently it was a half dominated by the boot of Mike Harris and Juan Martin Hernandez, with Harris slotting fifteen points to El Mago's nine.

The second-half in Rosario thankfully saw a reduction in penalty offences but what it lacked in infringements it certainly made up for in spillages, with wing Digby Ioane a regular culprit.

However, all was forgiven in the Wallaby camp when first-phase ball came back swiftly to fly-half Kurtley Beale in the 65th minute and Ioane drifted in from the left to take a pass that split the home defence for an easy run-in. It was a seven-pointer that cut the Pumas deep.

Assured Reds full-back Harris converted to give Australia a 22-12 lead that he increased eight minutes later with a penalty which lifted his personal contribution to 20 points.

Argentina set up a tense finish after Australian replacement scrum-half Brett Sheehan was sin-binned when wing Juan Imhoff claimed a pushover try that Marcelo Bosch converted.

Beale missed a late penalty, offering Argentina a chance to snatch a late win by running the ball the length of the pitch and scoring a converted try, but it was not to be as a knock-on quickly ended the move and the final whistle blew for a much-needed win for the Wallabies.

Man of the match: Mike Harris kicked well while Scott Higginbotham performed strongly when he arrived onto the field as a replacement. But for a towering defensive effort in the midfield, we go for Brumbies centre Pat McCabe. Had someone else been defending in the 12 channel then it is likely Argentina would have scored more than just their one try today.

Moment of the match: It has to be Michael Hooper's breakout from his own 22 up to the opposition's. Impressive pace from the openside as he left plenty of backs floundering.

Villain of the match: The person(s) with the laser in the crowd. It's not big, it's not clever.

The scorers:

For Argentina:
Try: Imhoff
Con: Bosch
Pen: Hernandez 3, Bosch

For Australia:
Try: Ioane
Con: Harris
Pen: Harris 6

Argentina: 15 Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino, 14 Gonzalo Camacho, 13 Marcelo Bosch, 12 Santiago Fernandez, 11 Horacio Agulla, 10 Juan Martin Hernandez, 9 Martin Landajo, 8 Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe (c), 7 Juan Manuel Leguizamon, 6 Julio Farias Cabello, 5 Patricio Albacete, 4 Manuel Carizza, 3 Juan Figallo, 2 Eusebio Guinazu, 1 Rodrigo Roncero.
Replacements: 16 Agustin Creevy, 17 Juan Pablo Orlandi, 18 Leonardo Senatore, 19 Tomas Leonardi, 20 Nicolas Vergallo, 21 Nicolás Sánchez, 22 Juan Imhoff.

Australia: 15 Mike Harris, 14 Nick Cummins, 13 Ben Tapuai, 12 Pat McCabe, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Kurtley Beale, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Radike Samo, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Sitaleki Timani, 5 Nathan Sharpe (capt), 4 Kane Douglas, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 James Slipper.
Replacements: 16 Saia Fainga'a, 17 Benn Robinson, 18 Dave Dennis, 19 Scott Higginbotham, 20 Liam Gill, 21 Brett Sheehan, 22 Dominic Shipperley.

Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Jaco Peyper (South Africa), Pascal Gauzere (France)
Television match official: Francisco Pastrana (Argentina)

By Adam Kyriacou
@PlanetRugbyAK

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