The Wallabies beat Argentina 29-15 win in the Rugby World Cup semifinal at Twickenham stadium this morning. Now the only thing standing betwen them and glory is the All Blacks.
A hat-trick of tries to Adam Ashley-Cooper was instrumental in the Wallabies’ win and will boost their spirits as they prepare to meet the undefeated New Zealand team in what will be Australia’s first RWC final since 2003.
Luck was with Australia from the start: A loose pass by Nicholas Sanchez soon after the kick-off was intercepted by Australia’s Rob Simmons, who romped home to score just 67 seconds into the game with the the fastest try of the 2015 series. A penalty goal was the only reward for a daring Pumas run from a lineout, then in the 10th minute Ashley-Cooper scored his first in the right corner. Bernard Foley’s second conversion took Australia to 14-3.
In the 23rd minute, Sanchez, the tournament’s leading try scorer, forced a scrum penalty that saw Australia’s lead cut to 14-6.
Then Argentina’s Tomas Lavanini was sin-binned for a no-arms tackle on Folau. The Wallabies made full use of their one-man advantage, creating an opportunity on the left hand side where Matt Giteau delivered a cut-out pass to send Ashley-Cooper over for the teams third try first-half. The conversion failed, and then two successful penalty kicks by Sanchez cut Australia’s lead to 19-9 at half-time.
A penalty by Foley extended the margin to 13, then Sanchez was gifted two more penalties, getting the Pumas within seven points of Australia. Argentina, strong in attack throughout, were only just held back by stirring performances from the likes of Pocock and Scott Fardy. In the final ten minutes Drew Mitchell beat eight Argentinean defenders down the left side, then came back in-field to pass to winger Ashley-Cooper, who crossed for the third time.
The desperate Argentinians won the crowd’s heart with their fierce attempt to recover, but the Australian defence was just too good and the score remained at 29-15.
Hat-trick hero Adam Ashley-Cooper was named man of the match. Number eight David Pocock, returning from injury, was a key player at the breakdown, forcing numerous turnovers for the Wallabies. Full-back Israel Folau, also returning, limped off in the second half after receiving a blow to his dodgy ankle. Argentina, which will play against South Africa for third spot in the tournament, lost winger Juan Imhoff and captain Augustin Creevy to injury.
Australia will now focus on getting its team as fit as possible for the match against New Zealand on Saturday evening (5am AEDT on Sunday, November 1). – Sam Pasfield
Top photo of the Wallabies celebrating a try during their 29-15 victory over Argentina from the Wallabies official Facebook page.