The day the Wallabies hung on in the wild West

The Rugby Championship
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

There are plenty of reasons to forget Australia’s last Test against Argentina in Perth, but the weather is certainly a memorable one.

Three years ago to the day, the Wallabies scored their first win under-then coach Ewen McKenzie and outlasted a fighting Pumas side in brutal conditions.

Posts were bending, the wind was swirling and the rain was torrential at Subiaco Oval, in a kick-heavy contest.

The rain was torrential on that night in 2013. Photo: Getty ImagesNine players from the Wallabies’ 23 that night lined up against the Springboks last Saturday night, with four (Israel Folau, Quade Cooper, Michael Hooper, Stephen Moore) starting.

Openside flanker Hooper was a standout in the grind, man of the match in the nailbiting win, playing alongside Scott Fardy and Ben Mowen in the backrow, with David Pocock recovering from a knee reconstruction.

Will Genia was on the bench for that match, a far cry from the form that he finds himself in now, with former Brumbies scrumhalf Nic White starting in the halfback spot.

Wallabies fullback Israel Folau scored Australia’s only try in that match, defying the weather in the 17th minute and breaking four tackles on the way to the five-pointer.

Israel Folau scoed a try. Photo: Getty ImagesHis score would prove pivotal in the one-point win, though Pumas backrower Juan Manuel Leguizamon decided the margin, narrowing it to a single point with 16 minutes to go.

Both players are back in Perth this week preparing for a much easier assignment, at least on the climate front but Folau said the Wallabies wouldn’t be taking Argentina easier, rain, hail, or shine.

“It was pretty ordinary conditions,” Folau said.

Hardy fans stuck it out in the weather in 2013. Photo: Getty Images“We've had some pretty tough contests against Argentina, we're definitely not taking them lightly.

“It's going to be a pretty tough contest for us and we've just got to go into the game and make sure we control the things we do as a team and stick to our structures and the way we want to play.”

This Saturday, the Wallabies will host the Pumas at nib Stadium, their first Test at the venue, looking to string back-to-back wins together for the first time this year.