Wallabies run away late to win 37-20

Oliver Matthews Roar Guru

By Oliver Matthews, Oliver Matthews is a Roar Guru

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    Australia have beaten Argentina by 17 points in the final game of this year’s Rugby Championship. As a result the Wallabies finish up second behind the undefeated All Blacks and ahead of the Boks with the Pumas taking home the wooden spoon with five defeats from five matches.

    The scores were close throughout and with just twenty minutes to go it was locked up at 20-20 and both teams would have fancied their chances. But in that final quarter the Wallabies were able to put on two more tries through Genia and then Hodge, with Foley slotting the conversions and another penalty for good measure to give the visitors their second win of the Championship.

    In the lead up to the game there was talk about how important this dead rubber was for both sides. Neither has had the Championship they would have hoped for and so this was a chance to put in a good performance and build momentum and confidence ahead of their respective northern tours.

    The Wallabies will obviously be the happier of the two sides – winning by 17 away from home after a brutal last game at altitude against the Boks is not to be sneezed at. However in the review sessions next week there will be much to discuss and improvements that they will want to make ahead of a hard tour. They were favourites coming into the game but never really took control of the match.

    Genia played well as did Hodge. The latter will be hopeful that his two tries tonight lock his place in the tour starting fifteen. He was a persistent threat in attack, pretty solid in defence (although mainly untested) and his cannon of a boot is a great option.

    The veteran scrum half has arguably been the Wallabies’ player of the Championship. After the opener against the All Blacks were he drew much criticism he has got back to his best. The Rebels will be desperately hoping he can maintain this form into 2018.

    The forwards played well without doing anything remarkable. The potent Puma pack probably just got the better of them in the set piece but in the loose the Wallabies were much better.

    Dempsey looked good in the loose and was hard to tackle when he attacked the line and both Coleman and McMahon look like well established, high quality Wallabies who will be crucial to team over the coming years.

    The Aussies again scored from set piece moves on first phase ball which is impressive. At a point in the game when it should be man on man and relatively easy to cover the opposition, it’s impressive to find space to score.

    Genia’s try was a result of a great running line from Hodge – he took the ball at pace and sliced through the Pumas perfectly before giving a nice pass to his scrum half who went in unopposed. The crispness of these set piece moves from the Aussies is a joy to behold and tonight’s was almost as beautiful as their first try against the Boks in the previous match.

    Hooper needs to re think his view on taking points at key points in the game. Several times he refused to take easy three point opportunities and pushed for the try and several times it didn’t come off. Attacking intent is great but what was needed today was a professional performance from the Wallabies.

    There’s plenty of evidence to show that if you can get ahead of the Pumas early then they will start to force things and self-destruct. But if you give them the feeling that they are in the game then they can do crazy things, especially when counter attacking.

    It’s true that Foley didn’t have a great night off the kicking tee but Hooper had plenty of other options in Beale and Hodge, and he should have got the scoreboard ticking over early and regularly.

    On the other side Creevy was Argentina’s best player – he was solid in the set piece and fought hard at the breakdown scoring a couple of good steals at critical points.

    He’ll be gutted that his tiny knock on led to a great Puma try being disallowed though as it would have been a big swing in the game. He’ll be frustrated as well with the way that his team were their own worst enemy for much of the game and Championship.

    Today the Argentinians tackled their hearts out and were well organised in defence. But it was when they had the ball that they just couldn’t string together solid sets of attacking phases and put the Australians under consistent pressure. Simple ball retention in the loose and at the breakdown was poor and the home side gave the Aussies back the ball far too often.

    It could have been a very different end to the game if the Pumas had been able to force the Aussies to defend for longer periods – in the middle of the second half when the game was in the balance, many of the Wallabies were beginning to struggle as fatigue set in. If the Argentinians had been able to squeeze them even harder at this key point they could well have tipped the balance in their favour.

    Cheika will be the happier of the two coaches – this was the first time he’d picked the same team for two consecutive games and his team are definitely improving.

    But there’s a lot left to do for sure and it’ll be interesting to see how they perform against the All Blacks in the third Bledisloe and the Spring Tour. If they can come away with four wins from the remaining five games in 2017 then it’ll have been a good year.

    Anything less than that and questions will be asked about whether it’s right to give a new coach time to get the Wallabies ready for the 2019 World Cup.

    For the Argentinians it was better but still not great. For them though the bigger questions are probably to do with their underlying rugby structures – if they can’t figure them out soon then the Pumas are unlikely to threaten the semi-finals again for quite a while.

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    The Crowd Says (21)

    • October 8th 2017 @ 11:43am
      Harry said | October 8th 2017 @ 11:43am | ! Report

      Surely Genia MoM with Hodge and Dempsey strong.
      Koriebete a genuine finisher
      Rodda and Tui continue their learning curve with solid displays. Replacement front row didn’t look up to it either around the park (loose carries) or at the scrum.

    • October 8th 2017 @ 11:53am
      Fionn said | October 8th 2017 @ 11:53am | ! Report

      TPN star forward and Genia and Koroibete star backs.

      TPN man of the match. What a great season he is having.

      • Roar Guru

        October 8th 2017 @ 12:53pm
        PeterK said | October 8th 2017 @ 12:53pm | ! Report

        Hodge had a very good game as well

        Dempsey and Coleman the best forwards for me after TPN. Dempsey so much better than Hanigan.

        genia made a poor decision on the box kick with no forward blockers and of course a charge down happened

        Foley blew a try by running himself with 2 men outside and only 1 defender

        Beale a shocker

        Defence still a major issue

        TK missed 4 /6 tackles, Beale missed 3/4, foley 4/13,

        • October 8th 2017 @ 1:11pm
          Shakes said | October 8th 2017 @ 1:11pm | ! Report

          Beale looks spent. I was surprised how he kept up in his first couple of games back but maybe it was pure adrenaline and heart. The travelling seems to have knocked the wind out of his sails a bit which is understandable as he’s been around the world a couple of times in the last couple of months.

          Hodge’s lines though. They are very similar to the ones Mortlock used to punch. He is becoming a very valuable player and I think wing is the perfect spot for him for maybe one more international season, then look at 12 or 13.

          • Roar Guru

            October 9th 2017 @ 7:54pm
            Oliver Matthews said | October 9th 2017 @ 7:54pm | ! Report

            Yeah agree Shakes re Hodge – he runs hard into good gaps and while the Puma defence isn’t exactly world class I reckon if Foley, Beale and Genia can work well with him then the Aussies have a good weapon of first and second phase ball.

            Plus with his boot he’s a genuine back up option for kicking duties if Foley has a mare and he adds in the option of taking 3 points from penalties around the half way line.

        • October 8th 2017 @ 2:49pm
          RahRah said | October 8th 2017 @ 2:49pm | ! Report

          Agree PK. If Cheika must have another TATA in his team then lets hope that it is Dempsey in preference to Hannigan. Dempsey had a very good game.
          Foley another shocker with the boot for goal.
          Koriobete is really coming along well, despite the one defensive misread his defense is really looking good. I loved the massive hit he put on at the restart, I reckon he was trying to make up for the previous defensive lapse.
          Might well be a settled Coleman, Rodda starting second row. Coleman is a machine the way he plays for the full 80 while his offsider is subbed with 20 to go.
          Backs lacked penetration for most of the game, it seems that if you stop Beale you also stop Folau, used to be that way when they were both playing at the TahTahs.
          Kurindrani has been very quiet lately. Hodge playing well.

          • October 8th 2017 @ 5:02pm
            Fionn said | October 8th 2017 @ 5:02pm | ! Report

            I don’t want to be settled with Coleman-Rodda, I want to see Arnold back in the starting 15.

            TK has been quiet. I would have like to have seen Kerevi get an entire half.

            Next year I really hope that Hodge is played at 13 for the Rebels.

            • October 8th 2017 @ 9:22pm
              PiratesRugby said | October 8th 2017 @ 9:22pm | ! Report

              Yep, Dempsey was very good. So why did Cheika persist with Hanigan for so long? TPN, Genia, Hodge and Korobete all great. Foley is an unreliable kicker. And an unreliable defender. And greedy. And a weak pass. So, why does he keep getting picked?? Beale had a bad game. Folau quiet. TK too.
              And I don’t think the Argentine deserved a yellow card. It was a cracking tackle. Hips did not go above horizontal. Soo not hurt or at risk of being hurt. Play on.

              • October 9th 2017 @ 8:02pm
                Fionn said | October 9th 2017 @ 8:02pm | ! Report

                Yeah, agree with all of that. I wonder if even Cheika knows why he is persisting with Hanigan??

                Alaalatoa deserved to get smashed for carrying so weakly, and as you said, hips didn’t go horizontal and he landed safely. We want to see more huge tackles in the game, not less.

                Between Naivalu, Koroibete, Folau, Hodge, Beale as well as Perese and Banks we have some seriously good outside back stocks coming through.

                I really rate TK, but I’d like to see Hodge developed as a 13 longterm. He is a winger too, however. I really rate his running lines and support play. Reminds me of early Mortlock (hope he can remind me of later Mortlock too one day!)

        • Roar Guru

          October 9th 2017 @ 10:49pm
          Oliver Matthews said | October 9th 2017 @ 10:49pm | ! Report

          You’re right about the defence – both as individuals and as a system I’m still not convinced. The Pumas didn’t through up too many challenges but the Wallabies still looked poor in defence. Better teams will cause serious problems.

          Also really concerned about Hooper’s decision making. That game needed the Aussies to get on the board early and keep the score moving. Each score would put more and more pressure on the Pumas and they would start chasing the game and arguably losing interest after a long hard season. That’s when the Aussies could have racked up a big score. Trying to out muscle the Puma forwards in the first 20 minutes was not a sensible approach and I think it made things harder for the Aussies in the first 60 minutes

      • Roar Rookie

        October 8th 2017 @ 11:19pm
        Dwards said | October 8th 2017 @ 11:19pm | ! Report

        Absolutely,
        .
        TPN was huge. Can’t believe he wasn’t mentioned more in the news reports.
        Also how much stronger is Hodge looking. Nice to have a set piece runner who can hit those lines regularly (other than Folau).
        That game gave me hope. You can see a team coming together – Finally.

    • October 8th 2017 @ 7:25pm
      Paul D said | October 8th 2017 @ 7:25pm | ! Report

      Great game by Dempsey. Hodge and Koriobete are a nice wing pairing. Pretty happy with Rodda’s efforts too. Tui showed strength but the rest of the bench was pretty ordinary.

      Probably TK’s most forgettable game in a long while.

    • October 8th 2017 @ 7:45pm
      terry tavita said | October 8th 2017 @ 7:45pm | ! Report

      hodge should play at midfield..strong runner..

    • October 8th 2017 @ 10:11pm
      Jock Cornet said | October 8th 2017 @ 10:11pm | ! Report

      We got all the refs calls. Koriobete tackles a guys head and puts him in hospital no penalty. No 4 did a perfect tackle and player unhurt gets sent , wtf.

      • Roar Rookie

        October 8th 2017 @ 11:24pm
        Dwards said | October 8th 2017 @ 11:24pm | ! Report

        Koriobete was high chest but not head.
        Agree the yellow could have gone the other way, or could have been given much sooner for infringements near the try line with Wbs on attack.
        Thought the Ref had a decent game actually.

        • October 9th 2017 @ 3:00am
          Taylorman said | October 9th 2017 @ 3:00am | ! Report

          Replays definitely show contact with the head even when it didnt look so first view, the ball carrier not helping himself going downwards into the tackle.

    • October 8th 2017 @ 10:40pm
      Jock Cornet said | October 8th 2017 @ 10:40pm | ! Report

      We still need a player who can get over the advantage line. McMahon and Dpsey cannot. We need a big 8. Dempsey had a shocker .

      • October 9th 2017 @ 9:03am
        Hoppers said | October 9th 2017 @ 9:03am | ! Report

        Phhhh. What game were you watching. I’ve not been a fan of Dempsey till now, but he had a blinder.

      • Roar Guru

        October 9th 2017 @ 9:14am
        Carlos the Argie said | October 9th 2017 @ 9:14am | ! Report

        If you ignore game statistics, then your comment would make sense. Pity that statistics interfered with your “reality”.

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