Argentina vs Australia: Five things we learned

The Rugby Championship

What are we talking about after Australia's win over Argentina? 

1. Kerevi on fire

Samu Kerevi has played a handful of Tests now but this Twickenham outing was by far the best of his career. A first Test double was just the start of his influence, with the outside centre running the most metres of players from either side, beating seven defenders and making five clean breaks on top of that. With each Test, Kerevi looks more settled, his decision-making improving to go with his attacking potency. The 23-year-old is owning his Test spot at the moment.

2. Phipps vs physio

Phipps' incident sparked a scuffle. Photo: Getty ImagesThe Wallabies had plenty of their own issues with the whistle at Twickenham but one decision had many scratching their heads. Wallabies replacement halfback Nick Phipps was penalised in the 68th minute after pushing the Argentinian physio. That might seem fair enough but Phipps’ push came after the trainer had stopped the ball on its delivery from the sideline and seemingly kept it out of the path of Phipps. Rugby has no specific rule around this, leaving it open to interpretation,  but most sports frown heavily on staff putting themselves anywhere near the ball. While Phipps’ retaliation may have been an overreaction, the incident should never have happened.

3. Sloppy tackling

The Wallabies need to improve their discipline. Photo: Getty ImagesWhether it was a byproduct of size and height or whether it was a serious technique flaw, the Wallabies put themselves directly in the fire with repeated high tackles. Two yellow cards in the first half after four high tackle penalties left the Wallabies without to of their best-performed players this season in Michael Hooper and Adam Coleman. Under a trigger-happy referee the Wallabies finished on the unfavourable end of a 13-11 penalty count and it’s an issue they’ve had all season.

4. Next generation

Yes, this win was against the Pumas and not an all-conquering All Blacks side, but the form of the rookies in their Twickenham debuts was a promising sign. Dane Haylett-Petty seems to have returned to the form that impressed in the June series, with a desperation to keep the ball alive. Lopeti Timani was industrious in defence, though he saw little in attack, making 14 tackles in what was another desperate defensive effort from the Wallabies. Young props Allan Alaalatoa and Tom Robertson made an impact when they came on and Adam Coleman, despite the yellow card, imposed himself again.Overall, Australia’s effort was nowhere as slick as the Pretoria performance but they made the most of their chances, led by this fresh blood.

5. Scrum turnaround

Australia's scrum wasn't at its best. Photo: Getty ImagesThe Wallabies have had a few  set piece problems this season but rarely have they come in their scrum. That all changed in London. Argentina punished the Wallabies scrum as the game went on, as much a show of their strengths as any weakness of the Australians. Robertson and Alaalatoa faced a challenge, injected into the game 60 minutes in, and they turned things around with two critical penalties late in the game. The good news for Australia is the Pumas have the best scrum of the Rugby Championship and they will know exactly where they need to improve ahead of the final Bledisloe in a fortnight’s time.

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