Argentina 21-17 Australia
Pumas win first Rugby Championship match
October 5, 2014
Date/Time: Oct 4, 2014, 19:40 local, 22:40 GMT
Venue: Estadio Mundialista Malvinas Argentinas, Mendoza
Argentina 21 - 17 Australia
Attendance: 26000  Half-time: 8 - 14
Tries: Imhoff, Senatore
Cons: Sanchez
Pens: Sanchez 3
Tries: Higginbotham, Kuridrani
Cons: Foley 2
Pens: Foley
Wallabies captain Michael Hooper talks to referee Nigel Owens, Aregntina v Australia, Rugby Championship, Mendoza, Argentina, October 5, 2014
The Wallabies were left disappointed after their shock loss
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The Wallabies' miserable tour has ended with a historic 21-17 loss to Argentina in Mendoza. Australia squandered an early 14-0 advantage to hand the Pumas their first-ever Rugby Championship win in front of a delirious crowd at Estadio Malvinos Argentinos on Saturday night (Sunday morning AEDT).

The humbling defeat came after a week of turmoil in Australia's ranks, with the Wallabies reeling from Kurtley Beale's in-flight run-in with management staff, a monster travel schedule and several injuries.

Little went right on the pitch after the Wallabies' flying start, with tries in the opening 14 minutes to centre Tevita Kuridrani and No.8 Scott Higginbotham. Half-back Nick Phipps and flanker and captain Michael Hooper were both sin-binned in the second half as the inspired Pumas reeled in Australia's early point-a-minute lead to record a rousing win.

The loss was Australia's first to Argentina since 1997 and left the Wallabies with just narrow wins over the Pumas and the Springboks, and a draw with the All Blacks to show from their Rugby Championship campaign.

The Pumas, though, are celebrating their first Rugby Championship win after three years and 18 Tests against the southern hemisphere giants.

The Wallabies opened the scoring with a fine counter-attacking try in the fourth minute. Hooper intercepted and raced 30 metres before quick recycling and spreading of the ball out the backline to Kuridrani put the in-form centre over.

Revelling in his first Test start since 2012, Higginbotham cashed in on short ball from hooker Saia Fainga'a to dive over next to the posts in the 14th minute. Five-eighth Bernard Foley's twin conversions gave the Wallabies a 14-0 lead.

But the match turned after the Wallabies lost classy midfielder Matt Toomua to concussion on the half hour. Argentina roared back into the contest with a try by big No.8 Leonardo Senatore shortly after and a penalty goal just before halftime to fly-half Nicolas Sanchez.

Leading 14-8 at halftime, Australia were soon down to 14 men for the first time when Phipps was dismissed for a professional foul. Sanchez and Foley traded penalty goals before the Pumas capitalised on Phipps' absence with a try to winger Juan Imhoff from a scrum win inside the Australian quarter.

Sanchez's sideline conversion set up a tense final 20 minutes. The fervent Argentina fans seemed to have even more to cheer about when, after Phipps returned to the action, referee Nigel Owens issued a yellow card to Wallabies fullback Israel Folau for tackling counterpart Joaquin Tuculet in the air.

But after watching a replay on the big screen, Owens reversed the decision, saving Australia from being a player short for another 10 minutes in the desperately tight second half. The reprieve helped, but Foley missed two penalty goal attempts, including one sitter that hit the upright, inside the last 10 minutes.

Hooper ended the night in the bin after being dispatched for what the referee deemed a clumsy aerial challenge on Tuculet.

Sanchez had the final say with a late penalty goal before fireworks were unleashed in Mendoza to mark the historic victory.

Argentina 21-17 Australia (Video available in Australia only)
© AAP

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