A Will Genia double has helped the Wallabies to a 36-20 win over Argentina, to finish their 2016 home Tests on a high.
It took just 43 seconds for the Wallabies to nab their first try of the night, with Samu Kerevi finishing off a deft Michael Hooper dummy pass, and by the 13th minute they had three and a 21-point buffer.
Dane Haylett-Petty collected a perfectly timed Quade Cooper inside ball and broke through the Pumas defence for the second as the Wallabies threatened to slice open the improving Pumas.
Genia had a third team try by the 12th minute, dislodging the ball in a tackle on Nicolas Sanchez, getting a toe to it and winning a foot race to regather and score, to give Australia their highest first half tally this year.
After those scores, though, the Pumas wrestled away their momentum and forced the Wallabies into a marathon defensive effort
Ninety-seven first half tackles were needed from the Wallabies to stop the everlasting Argentinians, who had three-quarters of the possession by the middle of the first half despite the gulf on the scoreboard.
A Nicolas Sanchez penalty in the 23rd minute narrowed the margin as the Pumas put the pressure on in general play, taking control and forcing a series of offloads to keep the heat on the Wallabies.
A yellow card for Scott Sio compounded the problem for Australia, in the 33rd minute, but the home side managed to keep the Pumas at bay.
Argentina capitalised on their momentum just four minutes into the second half as Santiago Cordero beat Adam Coleman to the try line, narrowing the gap to just eight points.
Genia had a double by the 52nd minute, after a spectacular cameo from Sean McMahon in a pack of players, an emphatic sign that the 21-year-old was back to his damaging best after replacing a seemingly injured David Pocock in the opening stages of the second half.
Hooper had his own five-pointer to add to a mammoth tackle count in the 64th minute, collecting a no-look Quade Cooper pass and streaking into space.
Cooper’s night went downhill after that, the flyhalf yellow-carded for a late hit on Sanchez, an advantage that yielded a try to Pumas number eight 33-18, before Reece Hodge stretched the lead back to 16 with a long range penalty in the 75th minute.
The Wallabies will head back to their respective states, before a trip to Pretoria to face the Springboks on October 1.
(Tries: Genia 2, Kerevi, Haylett-Petty, Hooper Cons: Foley 4 Pens: Hodge)
(Tries: Cordero, Isa Cons: Sanchez 2 Pens: Sanchez 2 )