Rugby Championship News

Argentina earn famous victory over Australia




Argentina beat Australia 19-23 at Robina Stadium, on the Gold Coast, ending a 35-year drought on Australian soil.

It is Argentina’s first victory down under since 1983 and they were deserved winners in a tight but scrappy Rugby Championship Test.

Los Pumas twice overturned a deficit with tries from the sublime Nicolas Sanchez and Batista Delguy which cancelled out Will Genia and Israel Folau’s early scores to lead by three at the break.

Sanchez, a week after becoming his country’s all-time points scorer, kicked two conversions and a penalty to add to his try for a match-haul of 12 points.

Dane Haylett-Petty scored in the third quarter, but Emiliano Boffelli’s long-range penalty on halfway made it a four-point game with less than two minutes to play.

Australia went close and should have won the game, but they squandered a gilt-edged opportunity in the dying seconds.

Folau, instead of passing for a walk-over try with a two-on-one, took on two defenders, losing the ball forward and out, which gave the South Americans a famous away win.

There were ugly scenes after the final whistle.

The defeat ended with an altercation between the players and their home fans which were caught by the television cameras.

Michael Cheika’s job must be on the line.

All the goodwill from last week’s 23-18 win over South Africa has been eroded by this disjointed and abject performance.

Mario Ledesma, on the other hand, has now orchestrated historic wins over the Wallabies and the Springboks in this year’s tournament.

Ledesma led the Jaguares to the playoffs in this year’s Super Rugby competition, the high watermark being their four-match unbeaten tour of Australasia.

He was the Australian forward’s coach up until last year and his inside knowledge of Cheika’s set-up proved invaluable.

His team looked far more assured and never looked like losing this game. This victory is another feather in the former Pumas player’s cap.

His chargers took a slender lead into the interval after both sides shared four tries apiece.

Boffelli kicked an early long-range penalty to put his side on the board, but the hosts hit back soon after.

Genia finished off a magnificent move to give his team the lead.

Haylett-Petty sucked in Ramiro Moyano, played Reece Hodge with a chicken-wing offload.

Hodge drew Sanchez and Gonzalo Bertranou before sending the scrumhalf away.

Matt Toomua, who has been superb in this Rugby Championship, added the extras.

The lead up to the try came from a poor pass and knock-on by Argentina, something that continues to hamper their rugby at all levels.

They did not let it affect them though, instead, they hit back with a score of their own, three minutes’ later.

Sanchez, who became his country’s leading points scorer last weekend after passing Felipe Contepomi, got on the try-scorers’ list again.

It is the fourth consecutive Rugby Championship game that he has crossed the whitewash.

Only Ben Smith’s six tries in six Tests is better.

Argentina counter-attacked from their half to set up an attack on the Wallabies’ try-line.

Sanchez played a one-two with Jeronimo de la Fuente.

The centre stepped inside Hodge and Toomua, sucking in the two centres.

He offloaded to his standoff, whose angled run could not be stopped.

The weather on the Gold coast was hot and humid, causing the players all manner of problems.

Referee John Lacey was pedantic with the scrums, resetting nearly every set-piece which killed all the momentum.

Sanchez finished off a wonderful attack only for the TMO to chalk off his try because of a foot in touch during the build-up by Moyano.

Izzy Folau produced some magic in the 19th minute to put his team back in front.

The flyer danced his way past four defenders and finished with a dive in the corner: stunning.

Toomua made no mistake from the touchline.

Tatafu Polota-Nau squandered two good opportunities inside Los Pumas’ 22 with skew throws, giving the Pumas reprieves.

The hookers mistakes were costly.

Delguy finished off a stunning move, shortly afterwards.

Pablo Matera burst through four Aussie defenders from inside his 22 before taking a tackle and offloading to Marcos Kremer, in support.

The flanker floated a long pass to Delguy, who cut inside and slipped two tacklers for a sensational score and halftime advantage. Sanchez slotted the kick.

Stale, stop-start second 40 minutes.

Argentina was denied again after the break.

A sweeping counter-attack from deep after the Wallabies turned the ball over, started the move.

The Pumas went wide, transitioning from defence to attack at lightning speed before Delguy flung an inside pass to Boffelli.

It looked forward and the TMO – correctly – denied the tourists for the second time.

Sanchez kicked a penalty to increase the lead to six.

Australia lost another lineout and it almost led to more points, but the Wallabies survived.

It was the hosts who scored next.

Haylett-Petty, out wide, strolled over for his fifth Test try.

Genia, Bernard Foley and Hodge all combined to send the fullback away.

It came from a driving maul which the Pumas defended with ease, but the quick inter-passing opened up space in the wide channel for the score.

Toomua missed the conversion, leaving his team trailing by one.

It also started a period of play where Sanchez and Hodge both missed penalties in the space of three minutes.

Argentina defended stoutly, keeping several Wallabies attacks out.

The clock was ticking down. Folau Fainga’a was penalised for coming into the ruck from the side.

It was in range for a shot at goal and Boffelli called for the kicking tee.

The kick was straight in front and on the halfway line which is about 10 metres inside the fullback’s range.

Australia miss guilt-edged chance for victory.

Australia needed a try to win, and it almost came but for some selfish play by – of all people – Folau.

The mercurial play-maker took Kurtley Beale’s pass and cut inside Bautista Ezcurra.

but instead of giving the pass to an unmarked Bernard Foley alone on the wing, he cut inside and was tackled by Tomas Lavanini and Boffelli.

The ball popped out of his hands and into touch in goal, gifting a long-awaited and famous away win.

Australia versus Argentina video highlights

Final score: Australia 19 (14) Argentina 23 (17) 


Tries – Genia, Folau, D. Haylett-Petty
Pen –
Con – Toomua (2)
Drop –
Cards –

Tries – Sanchez, Delguy
Pen – Boffelli (2), Sanchez
Con – Sanchez (2)
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: John Lacey (IRFU)
Assistant Ref 1: Glen Jackson (NZRU)
Assistant Ref 2: Paul Williams (NZRU)
TMO: Glenn Newman (NZRU



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.

Replacements: 16 Folau Fainga’a, 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.

Replacements: 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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