Australia outclassed Argentina to a 34-9 victory in Mendoza on Saturday to set up a Rugby Championship decider against New Zealand. Michael Cheika’s troops scored four tries to pick up a bonus point, the first of which came in the 16th minute through Joe Tomane. After the first try it looked as if it was going to be smooth sailing for the Wallabies, however they failed to penetrate the stiff Puma’s backline as the match progressed.
Daniel Hourcade saw his chargers pulling one back with a nicely taken spot kick in the 30th minute to make it 5-3. In the dying minutes of the first period, Bernard Foley snuck in with a superb penalty of his own to extend the lead, but before the hooter Nicolas Sanchez had Los Pumas still very much in the contest with another well-struck penalty to ensure a tight 8-6 half-time scoreline in favour of the Australians. Two minutes after the restart, Foley put his side well ahead with a nicely taken penalty before adding another one in the 53rd minute to make it 14-6.
Five minutes later Sanchez was keeping the Argentines in touch at the other end of the field as he slotted again to make it 14-9. Replacement Dean Mumm scored the second try of the match in the 59th minute to make it 19-9. Things worsened for the South Americans in the 69th minute when Foley landed a classy penalty goal from distance to make it 22-9.
The host were outplayed in all aspects and did not look like coming back into the match with ten minutes remaining. Tevita Kuridrani rubbed salt in the wounds of Hourcade’s men with a well worked try in the 78th minute and shortly after Adam Ashley-Cooper managed to cross the line to secure a bonus point for the Aussies. The home side can only blame themselves for the loss while Cheika’s men will happily take the 34-9 victory and look to clinch an unlikely Championship victory in their Bledisloe Cup showdown against New Zealand next week.