Hodge helps Aus­tralia home

The Irish Times - Monday - Sport - - Rugby -

Ar­gentina 20 Tries: Ale­manno, Igle­sias Pens: Sanchez (2) Cons: Sanchez (2) Aus­tralia 37 Tries: Koroi­bete, Hodge (2), Fo­ley, Ge­nia Pens: Fo­ley (2) Cons: Fo­ley (3)

Reece Hodge ran in two of Aus­tralia’s five tries as the Wal­la­bies beat Ar­gentina 37-20 in Men­doza to fin­ish sec­ond in the Rugby Cham­pi­onship while the Pu­mas failed to record a point for the first time since join­ing the tour­na­ment in 2012.

Marika Koroi­bete, Bernard Fo­ley and Will Ge­nia scored Aus­tralia’s other tries, while the hosts crossed through lock Matias Ale­manno and cen­tre San­ti­ago Gon­za­lez Igle­sias.

Ar­gentina were in the game at 13-13 at half-time and level on 20-20 up to the hour but were down a man for the last 10 minutes with lock Marcos Kre­mer in the sin bin.

The Pu­mas, whose pre­vi­ous worst show­ing in the tour­na­ment had been the two points they col­lected in 2013, had a try dis­al­lowed in the first half for a knock-on and an­other in the sec­ond for a for­ward pass.

Aus­tralia took an 8-0 lead in the open­ing quar­ter with a Fo­ley penalty and a try in the cor­ner by Koroi­bete but Ar­gentina came back to within a point when Ale­manno touched down un­der the posts, be­fore a Ni­co­las Sanchez penalty put them ahead.

Hodge re­stored Aus­tralia’s lead af­ter tak­ing a long pass from scrumhalf Ge­nia and go­ing over un­marked.

Af­ter Fo­ley missed the con­ver­sion, an­other Sanchez penalty left the teams locked at 13-13 at half-time.

The Wal­la­bies dom­i­nated the open­ing 10 minutes of the sec­ond half and Fo­ley even­tu­ally darted through a gap in the Pu­mas de­fence to score their third try be­fore con­vert­ing. Ar­gentina replied within five minutes with a sim­i­lar try from Gon­za­lez Igle­sias and Sanchez’s con­ver­sion put them level again.

How­ever, Aus­tralian pres­sure began to take its toll and Ge­nia scored from Hodge’s pass be­fore the wing went over twice, his first ef­fort dis­al­lowed for a for­ward pass.

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