By Lorraine Genia – EM TV Sports
The Australian Wallabies have ended the Argentinian Pumas hopes of a first Rugby World Cup finals appearance after a 29-15 win, in the early hours of this morning.
A match that was truly contested by both teams to the end saw the Wallabies being pushed physically throughout.
While the Pumas showed much more aggression, Australia’s reputation and experience as a world-class team was evident throughout the entire 80 minutes.
Australia’s attack was supreme in the opening minutes of the first half, with front rower Rob Simmons running away with an easy intercept try.
The try from Simmons set the momentum for three more tries to come.
Wide play by halves Will Genia and Bernard Foley, accompanied by a directive backline, allowed Adam Ashley-Cooper to score the first of his three tries.
But it would be the forward pack that would give away one too many penalties in the scrum.
Argentina’s Sanchez opened the scoreboard for the Pumas with the first of six kicks to come throughout the game.
A yellow card for a potential shoulder charge on Israel Folau saw the Pumas with one man down, and the experience of Wallaby veteran Matt Giteau setting up Ashley-Cooper brought the score line to 19-6 at the 32 minute mark.
Argentina began the second half with another penalty kick, but the Aussies who would later be placed under enormous pressure hit back with another three points.
By the 54th minute, Sanchez scored Argentina’s final points with a penalty outside the 22, and with 10 minutes remaining the Mitchel and Ashley-Cooper combination was what made Argentina realise it was game over.
“I think they (Australia) defended well in the second half. We wanted to win, but very sad we didn’t do it today,” said Argentinean captain, Martin Landajo.
Wallabies captain, Stephen Moore, took nothing away from the Pumas but was ecstatic for a chance to steal the cup off the Kiwi’s.
“They played really well. We had to defend a lot. We gave ourselves an opportunity to now play in the final.”
Australia will play New Zealand in the Rugby World Cup final on October 31, at Twickenham Stadium, London.