Wallabies vs Argentina: Five things we learned

The Rugby Championship
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

What are we talking about after the Wallabies' win over the Pumas?


1.Wallabies hit the road

The final 2016 home Test for the Wallabies brought some joy. Photo: Getty ImagesAustralia’s win over the Pumas was a significant one and it will be the last taste Australia has of home Test rugby for 2016. David Pocock won’t play a home Test until 2018 and the Wallabies won’t be hosting a match until June next year. Stephen Moore said ahead of the game that they had singled out their final two home Tests to earn back some respect lost in the June Series and the Bledisloe series losses. With Tests against South Africa and Argentina away, the Wallabies have the chance to string some crucial wins together and leave their home fans with a glimmer of hope. The results also bring some perspective to the competition, with the obvious conclusion being that New Zealand is light years ahead of every other side.

2. Brick wall defence

It’s been a major concern for the Wallabies this season, acutely so in the Bledisloe Cup Tests but defence was no problem for Australia on Saturday night, making 97 first half tackles and 143 overall, many of them a man down, as they fought against a wave of Argentinian attack. The Pumas’ offloading game was dangerous but they couldn’t crack the Wallabies for much of the game. Michael Hooper led the way with 18 tackles, with Adam Coleman the next best with 14. Of all of those tackles, the Wallabies missed 23 - as a marker of improvement, that’s quite a good one and far from the 40 they let slip in the opening Bledisloe a month ago.

3. Genia good as gold

Will Genia starred for the Wallabies. Photo: Getty ImagesForget the Giteau Law, the new benchmark of international eligibility should be the ‘Genia clause’. Genia came into the Rugby Championship under all sorts of question marks but he has well and truly put those to bed in the last month. The scrumhalf was immense once again for the Wallabies, with his first Test double and another blistering run just after half-time, that was among their most promising chances of the night.. Genia is back in peak form and having a major influence on the Wallabies’ fortunes.

4. Discipline an issue

Penalty counts have been one of the Wallabies’ worst enemies this season and it was another horror night of discipline for Australia. An 11-2 penalty count at the break turned into 16-6 at full-time, including a sin binning in each half. There is no one the Wallabies can blame but themselves for that and it’s something they’ll need to rectify quickly. 

5. Super Hooper

Michael Hooper led the way again. Photo: Getty ImagesMichael Hooper has copped more heat than almost any Wallaby in a tough season at both state and Test level but once again the Wallabies openside showed his value to the side. Eighteen tackles, 13 in the first half, a superb run for a 65th minute try that effectively decided the match and two turnovers to boot in another 80-minute effort for the workhorse.