Argentina walloped Australia 48-17 to claim revenge in the second 2022 Rugby Championship Test at Estadio San Juan del Bicentenario, San Juan.
Thomas Gallo bagged a brace as Argentina claimed revenge for last weekend’s embarrassing defeat to Australia in Mendoza with a 31-point beatdown in San Juan.
The Pumas ran in seven tries to record their biggest ever win over the Wallabies and go top of the 2022 Rugby Championship table.
Los Pumas were winless in their last 10 Tests in The Rugby Championship/Tri-Nations (D2, L8) and had lost their last seven matches in succession in the competition before this impressive bonus-point victory.
Emiliano Boffelli kicked one penalty and five conversions to go with his late score (18 pts) as Cheika’s side dismantled the lightweight tourists.
Michael Cheika’s charges scored five tries on the way to routing Dave Rennie’s men in South America.
Reenie’s side could only muster two tries through James Slipper and Len Ikitau as the men from down under folded in the South American sunshine.
Juan Imhoff, Gallo, Jerónimo de la Fuente, Juan Martín González all crossed in the opening stanza to give the Pumas a 16-point halftime lead.
Boffelli kicked three conversions and also had a try wrongly taken off the board in the first stanza.
Slipper crossed for the Wallabies’ only try of the first half, while James O’Connor added the conversion and a penalty as the visitors trailed.
Both teams struggled to convert pressure into points in the second half. Mistakes and all the changes stifled the two sides.
Boffelli landed a long-range penalty on 54 minutes to increase the lead to 19.
Ten minutes later, Gallo had his second score of the afternoon with another try from close range. Boffelli could not miss and the hosts had an unassailable four-goal lead.
Ikitau scored soon after the restart, O’Connor knocked over the conversion to make it 36-17 with 13 to play.
There was still time for Boffelli and Tomas Albornoz to claim scores at the death to bring up the forty-burger.
Argentina took a commanding 26-10 lead into the sheds after an enthralling first half in San Juan.
Los Pumas dotted down four times and were unlucky not to have a fifth try after a dodgy TMO call ruled out a Boffelli try before the break.
O’Connor also had a try chalked off, but the Wallabies were no match for the Pumas’ power.
The South Americans burst into a seven-minute 14-0 lead after converted tries from Imhoff and Gallo got their team – and the hostile home crowd – going.
Australia hit back in the 12th minute when back-to-back penalties allowed the visitors to set up an attacking lineout near their hosts’ goal-line.
Slipper crashed over next to the posts after a pick-and-go near the poles.
A mistake from the kick-off by Santiago Carreras gave the Wallabies a midfield scrum. The next attack led to O’Connor calling for the tee from in front.
O’Connor added the penalty to his earlier conversion to cut the gap to three points after 17 minutes.
Cheika’s side pull away from Rennie’s team as the Pumas asserted control of the Test.
A sublime one-two between Jordan Petaia and O’Connor, four minutes later, ended with the flyhalf scoring.
Slipper, however, was pinged for a dangerous cleanout at the previous ruck on Pablo Matera.
Taniela Tupou conceded a penalty for taking a player out illegally, which set up an attack inside the Aussies’ 22.
De la Fuente chopped back on the inside from the maul, and danced through several defenders before making a beeline to the whitewash.
De la Fuente pulled a hamstring in the process but still beat the cover defenders to the chalk. Boffelli added the extras to increase his team’s advantage to 11 points after 26 minutes.
Los Pumas struck again soon afterwards when Nic White’s pass was intercepted inside the home team’s half. The ball was snapped up and shifted wide before the hosts hoisted a rare up-and-under.
González collected the loose ball after O’Connor dropped Juan Cruz Mallía’s bomb into the arms of the flanker, who sped away to score his second try in two weeks against the Wallabies.
Boffelli missed the conversion and then had a try mysteriously chalked off by the TMO.
Replays showed the winger grounded the ball on the chalk under pressure from Marika Koroibete, but the score did not stand after Marius van der Westhuizen’s dodgy call.
Argentina pulled away midway through the second half as Gallo claimed a brace and the tries kept flowing.
Australia almost scored soon after halftime, but some good defending kept the tourists out.
Rob Valetini’s break and offload saw Petaia collect, but he got stripped by Gonzalo Bertranou in the in-goal area for a goal-line dropout.
After the points-fest in the first stanza, both teams took time to get on the board. It took 14 minutes before any points were scored when Boffelli slotted a long-range penalty to increase his side’s lead.
A powerful driving maul set up the Pumas near the try line. Several phases later, the hosts get their fifth when Gallo crashed through the defence. Boffelli made no mistake with the extras.
The Wallabies struck straight after the restart when Ikitau was not held in the tackle and jumped to his feet to score.
O’Connor added the conversion, but that was as good as it got for the Aussies.
Boffelli iced the game with a deserved score before the final hooter.
The 27-year-old flier raced onto Lucio Cinti’s pin-point grubber before Albornoz latched onto Tomas Cubeli’s accurate kick.
Cubeli broke from a midfield scrum and raced to the 22. The halfback stabbed a kick behind the gold jerseys for Albornoz to score. Boffelli’s fifth conversion finished the game.
Final Score: Argentina 48 (26) Australia 17 (10)
Tries – Imhoff, Gallo (2), De la Fuente, González, Boffelli, Albornoz
Pen – Boffelli
Con – Boffelli (5)
Tries – Slipper, Ikitau
Pen – O’Connor
Con – O’Connor (2)
Referee: Karl Dickson [ENG]
Assistant Ref: Mike Adamson [SCO]
Assistant Ref 2: Chris Busby [IRE]
TMO: Marius van der Westhuizen [RSA]
15 Juan Cruz Mallía, 14 Emiliano Boffelli, 13 Matias Orlando, 12 Jerónimo de la Fuente, 11 Juan Imhoff, 10 Santiago Carreras, 9 Gonzalo Bertranou,, 8 Pablo Matera, 7 Marcos Kremer, 6 Juan Martín González Samso, 5 Tomás Lavanini, 4 Matías Alemanno, 3 Francisco Gómez Kodela, 2 Julian Montoya (captain), 1 Thomas Gallo
Replacements: 16 Agustin Creevy, 17 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 18 Joel Sclavi, 19 Facundo Isa, 20 Rodrigo Bruni, 21 Tomas Cubeli, 22 Tomas Albornoz, 23 Lucio Cinti
Australia: 15 Tom Wright, 14 Jordan Petaia, 13 Len Ikitau, 12 Lalakai Foketi, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 James O’Connor, 9 Nic White, 8 Rob Valetini, 7 Fraser McReight, 6 Jed Holloway, 5 Darcy Swain, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Lachlan Lonergan, 1 James Slipper (captain)
Replacements: 16 Billy Pollard, 17 Matt Gibbon, 18 Pone Fa’amausili, 19 Nick Frost, 20 Pete Samu, 21 Tate McDermott, 22 Irae Simone, 23 Reece Hodge