The Qantas Wallabies have ended their Rugby Championship campaign with a 37-20 victory over Argentina in Estadio Malvinas Argentinas, Mendoza on Sunday morning.
Reece Hodge scored two of the Wallabies’ five tries in a bonus point victory which cemented second position for Australia in The Rugby Championship.
The Aussies once again produced bursts of scintillating attack to overpower the Pumas after the two nations were locked at 13-all at half time.
Marika Koroibete scored his third try in as many Test appearances, while Bernard Foley and Will Genia also notched five-pointers as the Wallabies ran away with it in the second half.
The Wallabies will now line up for a final shot at redemption against the All Blacks at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Saturday 21 October.
After dominating territory and possession early, the Wallabies opened the scoring through a Bernard Foley penalty goal after 14 minutes.
A strong charge by Jack Dempsey, who registered 100 running metres in a strong performance, sparked a brilliant backline movement which allowed Marika Koroibete to create space on the wing and score in the corner to extend Australia’s lead to 8-0.
The home side countered quickly through lock Matias Alemanno, who powered through three Wallabies defenders close to the line to score under the posts.
A penalty from flyhalf Nicolas Sanchez gave the hosts the lead for the first time at the 30-minute mark before Will Genia put an unmarked Reece Hodge over in the corner when the Wallabies winger was left unmarked out wide to retake the lead 13-10.
On the cusp of the half time, Sanchez continued his excellent tournament with the boot, kicking a penalty just shy of half way to level the scores at 13-13 at the break.
The Wallabies were keen to stamp their authority on the match in the second half and after electing not to take a shot at goal were eventually rewarded on the scoreboard when Bernard Foley stepped inside a couple of tired defenders to score a sharp solo try to retake the lead at 20-13.
The arm wrestle between the sides continued as Argentina struck back with a try through Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias underneath the posts to level the scores again.
The Wallabies continued to look to attack from all over the park, with an inside ball from captain Michael Hooper to a storming Reece Hodge opening up the defence again and allowing Will Genia an open passage to the line. Bernard Foley added the extras to make it 27-20 with 20 left to play.
Argentina was reduced to 14 men when Marcos Kremer lifted Scott Sio beyond the horizontal, which allowed Foley to extend the lead to 10 points with as many minutes to go.
After being denied a double minutes earlier for a forward pass, Reece Hodge put the icing on another impressive performance in the gold jersey with a second try in the corner to stretch the full-time score to 37-20.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
14 mins: Bernard Foley pen AUS 3-0 ARG
19 mins: Marika Koroibete try AUS 8-0 ARG
25 mins: Matias Alemanno try, Nicolas Sanchez con AUS 8-7 ARG
30 mins: Nicolas Sanchez pen AUS 8-10 ARG
34 mins: Reece Hodge try AUS 13-10 ARG
38 mins: Nicolas Sanchez con AUS 13-13 ARG
52 mins: Bernard Foley try, Bernard Foley con AUS 20-13 ARG
57 mins: Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias try, Nicolas Sanchez con AUS 20-20 ARG
61 mins: Will Genia try, Bernard Foley con AUS 27-20 ARG
70 mins: Bernard Foley pen AUS 30-20 ARG
76 mins: Reece Hodge try, Bernard Foley con AUS 37-20 ARG
Australia 37 (Reece Hodge 2, Marika Koroibete, Bernard Foley, Will Genia tries; Bernard Foley 3 cons; Bernard 2 pens)
defeated Argentina 20 (Matias Alemanno, Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias tries; Nicolas Sanchez 2 cons; 2 pens)