Australia completed a 37-20 win against Argentina in Mendoza this evening. The result was a record-setting campaign for the South Americans who lost all their matches, finished with no competition points and conceded more tries than in any other prior Rugby Championship tournament.
The collective negativity has seen sustained questioning of the future of Daniel Hourcade. The Head Coach tweeted ‘Thank You’ on full-time. Was it a resignation? Officially not it was not. Hourcade reinforced he is not standing down in the media conference post match. Americas Rugby News can confirm that an official announcement will be made on Tuesday.
Australia were clearly the better team in Mendoza. The Australians ran-in tries via Marika Koroibete, Bernard Foley, Will Genia and Reece Hodge who bagged a double. Argentina managed two with Matías Alemanno being the only forward to score in the game. The late call-up that was Santiago González Iglesias scored Argentina’s other try.
Australia’s 17 point win came after the teams had been locked at 13-all at half-time. The Wallabies won the opening half by two tries to one but woeful goal-kicking from Bernard Foley meant the teams were tied at the interval.
It had been Foley who scored the opening points of the game. The Waratahs play-maker kicked a 15th minute penalty to give the Wallabies a 3-0 lead. Fijian import, Koroibete saw Australia go 8-0 ahead immediately thereafter as he scored one minute later.
At the end of the opening quarter Argentina were yet to score. They would, however, open the scoring in the second quarter. Doing so was Matías Alemanno. The second-rower latched on to a pass from Martín Landajo to touch down at the foot of the post. Nicolás Sánchez converted to make it an 8-7 scoreline. He would then add a penalty to put Argentina in the lead.
Australia hit-back six minutes before half-time. A defensive error from Joaquín Tuculet created an overlap which enabled an unmarked Hodge to score untouched. The fragility was tragic as minutes earlier Tuculet had scored a sensational try only for it to be called back by the TMO due to a knock-on from Agustín Creevy.
Argentina leveled the scored on the stroke of half-time. Sánchez’ second penalty ensured the teams were at a 13-13 stalemate with 40 minutes remaining.
Foley had an opportunity to open the second half scoring. His poor kicking continues, though as his penalty was off-target. It mattered not as he broke clear, fooling Javier Ortega Desio to dive over. He added the extras and with it Australia led 20-13.
Los Pumas responded through González Iglesias. The inside back crossed for the best try in his test career, giving Argentina hope of regaining the lead. It was not to be, though, as Los Pumas would fail to add further points.
Hodge and Will Genia combined to restore Australia’s lead. With Argentina clearly tiring it was the start of Australia’s late charge. Firstly the scrum-half scored and then the winger went over for his second.
Both Argentina and Australia now look ahead to completing their 2017 international activities. Australia host New Zealand on October 21 before touring Japan, Wales, England and Scotland. Argentina face England, Italy and Ireland in Europe.
Try: Alemanno, González Iglesias
Penalty: Sánchez (2)
Conversion: Sánchez (2)
Yellow Card: Kremer
Try: Koroibete, Hodge (2), Foley, Genia
Penalty: Foley (2)
Conversion: Foley (3)
15 Joaquín Tuculet, 14 Matías Moroni, 13 Matías Orlando, 12 Santiago González Iglesias, 11 Emiliano Boffelli, 10 Nicolás Sánchez, 9 Martín Landajo, 8 Tomás Lezana, 7 Javier Ortega Desio, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Matías Alemanno, 4 Marcos Kremer, 3 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 2 Agustín Creevy (Capt.), 1 Lucas Noguera Paz
Replacements: 16 Julián Montoya, 17 Santiago García Botta, 18 Enrique Pieretto, 19 Benjamín Macome, 20 Leonardo Senatore, 21 Gonzalo Bertranou, 22 Juan Martín Hernández, 23 Santiago Cordero
15 Israel Folau, 14 Marika Koroibete, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Reece Hodge, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Will Genia, 8 Sean McMahon, 7 Michael Hooper (Capt.), 6 Jack Dempsey, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Scott Sio
Replacements: 16 Stephen Moore, 17 Tetera Faulkner, 18 Allan Alaalatoa, 19 Rob Simmons, 20 Lukhan Tui, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Samu Kerevi, 23 Henry Speight