Wal­la­bies’ much-needed win

Sunday Mail - - SPORT - JAMIE PANDARAM CAN­BERRA

A SU­PERB sec­ond half dis­play has de­liv­ered Aus­tralia’s first Rugby Cham­pi­onship win of the year, de­mol­ish­ing Ar­gentina 45-20.

Aus­tralia scored 35 points in the sec­ond half hav­ing trailed 13-10 at the break.

Two de­feats to New Zealand and a draw with South Africa had piled on the pres­sure on Aus­tralia to de­liver a re­sult in Can­berra, and those nerves weren’t eased af­ter a sloppy first half.

Wal­la­bies coach Michael Cheika had be­moaned his team’s in­tent when in­ter­viewed by FoxS­ports from the coach’s box 10 min­utes into the sec­ond half.

“There’s no ur­gency, I’m not sure we re­alise we’re play­ing in a Test match,” Cheika said.

It was as though Cheika’s words were be­ing broad­cast on loud­speaker, be­cause within four min­utes the Wal­la­bies had scored two tries and it kick­started an im­pres­sive pointscor­ing spree that was much needed by this group.

Af­ter the Springboks were ham­mered 57-0 by the All Blacks ear­lier in the evening, the Wal­la­bies’ next match against South Africa in Bloem­fontein in a fort­night sud­denly looks very winnable. Aus­tralia’s bonus-point win still leaves them third in the com­pe­ti­tion, how­ever a suc­cess­ful tour in South Africa and Ar­gentina could see them fin­ish sec­ond.

In the four-team Rugby Cham­pi­onship, the All Blacks bully and dom­i­nate, and the other three teams play a mini tour­na­ment hop­ing not to be the worst, and that ap­pears to be Ar­gentina again.

The Pu­mas were dom­i­nant in ter­ri­tory and pos­ses­sion in the first half, with Aus­tralia strug­gling to find its way into the op­po­si­tion half.

Ar­gentina’s half­back Martin Lan­dajo scored the open­ing try in the 24th minute, div­ing over from the base of the ruck af­ter a sus­tained raid on the Aus­tralian line.

Is­rael Fo­lau hit back five min­utes for Aus­tralia, com­plet­ing a sweep­ing at­tack­ing move from the Wal­la­bies that went from left to right be­fore the full­back was free down the touch­line.

Fo­lau’s sec­ond try came three min­utes later fol­low­ing a bril­liant mid­field off­load from Rob Sim­mons to Will Ge­nia be­fore the ball went wide.

With that score, Fo­lau be­came the first Wal­laby in his­tory to record four dou­bles in a sin­gle year.

HIS­TORY: The Wal­la­bies’ Is­rael Fo­lau crosses the line for one of two tries against Ar­gentina in Can­berra last night.

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