The Qantas Wallabies have defeated Argentina 34-9 in Mendoza ensuring a blockbuster Rugby Championship showdown against New Zealand in Sydney on Saturday 8 August.
In a physical and sometimes heated encounter, the Wallabies remained patient and surged home with three second-half tries after leading 8-6 at half time.
Australia will return home equal with New Zealand on nine points on top of The Rugby Championship ladder, with both the Bledisloe Cup and Rugby Championship trophies to go on the line as the trans-Tasman rivals prepare for back-to-back clashes.
Qantas Wallabies Captain Stephen Moore: ”We’re very happy with the win. It’s always hard to come over here and win. Obviously we slipped up last year over, here so tonight was very good and I’m very proud of the performance.
“I thought it (the scrum) was a good contest. Argentina has a very strong scrum. It was hard work in the first half but similar to South Africa last week our bench came on and really made a big difference for us.
“It’s going to be a massive game in Sydney at our home ground. We’re really looking forward to that, we know that they are a quality side but we have two weeks to prepare.”
Australia dominated the early stages of possession and territory as they used dozens of phases to slowly march their way well into Argentina’s red zone.
Argentina were able to escape their own half after Israel Folau took out flyhalf Nicolas Sanchez in the air. Avoiding a yellow card, the moment was lost for the Wallabies as Argentina gained possession.
It took 16 minutes for Australia to score their first try through Joe Tomane. The Wallabies backs combined well after a counter-attacking run from fullback Israel Folau to open up space for Tomane to score in the corner.
Ill-discipline continued to be an issue for Australia as the penalty count impacted their ability to apply more pressure.
Argentina scored their points through the boot of flyhalf Sanchez which brought the score to 5-3.
Both sides’ kickers traded penalties with less than two minutes to go in the tight first half to take the score to 8-6 at the break.
Australia started the second half well, scoring the first points through a penalty after a great turn over from Scott Fardy allowed the Wallabies to have possession well within Argentina’s half and earn the error from Los Pumas.
At the breakdown, David Pocock continued to show his class as one of the world’s best flankers as his constant scavenging caused headaches foir the Los Pumas defence.
Argentina piled huge amounts of pressure on the men in gold but the Wallabies continued to back their defence and hold Los Pumas at bay.
A third penalty from Bernard Foley increased Australia’s lead to 14-6.
Nicholas Sanchez continued to keep Los Pumas in touch with the Wallabies as he kicked his third penalty to close the gap to 14-9 in the 58th minute.
A try to Dean Mumm in his comeback Test appearance after three years playing Rugby in England with the Exeter Chiefs gave the Wallabies a healthy lead as the giant lock broke through two tackles and with Argentinians hanging off him crashed over the tryline to score.
With Foley unable to make the conversion from the corner the score remained at 19-9 in favour of the men in gold.
A late high tackle by Quade Cooper on Matias Moroni proved costly for Australia as Cooper was sent to the sin bin.
A fourth penalty from Bernard Foley continued to keep the scoreboard ticking over as Foley took the score to 22-9.
With the home side on the ropes, the men in gold stamped a dominant second-half performance with late tries to Tevita Kuridrani and Adam Ashley-Cooper to inflate the full-time score to 34-9.