Wallabies hold on to win in Argentina
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Wallabies' fullback Mike Harris kicks a penalty against Argentina's Los Pumas AFP PHOTO / Juan Mabromata
Mike Harris’ accurate boot and a classic try from Digby Ioane combined for the Wallabies to secure a surprise 25-19 win over the Pumas in Rosario this morning.
For 65 minutes it was one of the worst games of rugby imaginable as both sides coughed up regulation ball, and gave away a spate of penalties.
But a Wallaby win in any fashion is a Wallaby win, and I for one gave them no chance.
So far this season 38 players have pulled on the gold jersey, thanks to a spate of injuries, many of them to key players like James Horwill, David Pocock, Will Genia, Drew Mitchell, Berrick Barnes, and Adam Ashley-Cooper, just to name a few.
But today, despite all the short-comings, the Wallabies showed ticker, and resolve.
Harris landed seven from eight, with the Ioane try in the 64th minute a miracle in itself.
The execution of the try was brilliant, but the 63 minutes before wasn’t vintage from Ioane. He dropped the high ball, spilt passes, and lost control of possession just about every time he handled.
But Ioane was instrumental at a crucial moment in one of the gutsiest Wallaby performances in a long while.
To win in Argentina is a huge ask, especially after being flogged by the Boks last week, and the debilitating 24-hour travel to Rosario.
In humid conditions, the ball was like an iceblock. But these are international footballers and they should have been able to compensate.
Adding to the drama, referee Craig Joubert missed many knock-ons, and made many wierd decisions, but in the end the better side won on the day despite just 46% of possession.
The only Wallaby who stood out was Kurtley Beale. There’s no doubt fly-half is his rightful spot, especially when Genia returns from injury and gives him far better and faster service.
As for Robbie Deans, the win will keep his knockers on the other side of the door.
The real litmus test will be on October 20 at Suncorp against the all-conquering All Blacks who have gone through the Rugby Championship like a hurricane.
But for now, the Wallabies deserve praise for sticking to their guns and beating a tough side on their paddock,
And it’s nice to be able to write it for a change.