Rugby Championship
Wallabies redeem themselves in four-try showing
ESPN Staff
July 26, 2015
Date/Time: Jul 25, 2015, 19:40 local, 22:40 GMT
Venue: Estadio Mundialista Malvinas Argentinas, Mendoza
Argentina 9 - 34 Australia
Attendance: 25000  Half-time: 6 - 8
Pens: Sanchez 3
Tries: Ashley-Cooper, Kuridrani, Mumm, Tomane
Cons: Foley
Pens: Foley 4
Nick Phipps and Joe Tomane of the Wallabies celebrate a try, Argentina v Australia, Rugby Championship, Estadio Malvinas Argentinas, Mendoza, Argentina, July 25, 2015
Nick Phipps and Joe Tomane celebrate a try
© Getty Images
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The Wallabies will go into their opening Bledisloe Cup test against New Zealand on equal footing after they won a scrappy four-try-to-none win over Argentina in Mendoza. In a wobbly match for the Wallabies, poor discipline kept the Pumas in the match, but three second half tries put the game out of doubt.

Despite the impressive scoreline with four tries, the performance of the Australians won't put the All Blacks, who they meet in Sydney on August 8, on edge. New Zealand stormed home to beat the Springboks in a high-quality clash in Johannesburg.

Australia's scrum was put under heavy pressure by the Pumas with neither James Slipper or Greg Holmes doing much for their World Cup cases while the team gave away too many silly penalties including have two reversed.

Conceding several penalties at scrum time, Wallabies captain Stephen Moore said the scrum contest put the Wallabies under pressure. The team also gave away too many silly penalties including having two reversed. But Skipper Stephen Moore said he thought the Wallabies forwards delivered a better showing than against the Springboks.

"It was a good contest," he said. "Our lineout was pretty solid and we got some pay with our maul at the back end of the game, which was pleasing and the guys who came on did a great job for us.

Argentina 9-34 Australia (video available in Australia only)
Dean Mumm made an great impression for his first start since 2012 © Getty Images
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"We're very happy with the win. It's always hard to come over here and win. Obviously we slipped up last year over, here so tonight was very good and I'm very proud of the performance.

"It's going to be a massive game in Sydney at our home ground. We're really looking forward to that, we know that they are a quality side but we have two weeks to prepare."

Moore also said his team watched the All Blacks fight back to overcome South Africa before their own game and knew it would be massive challenge.

"They were fantastic and they showed why they're the best team in the world at the moment so it's a huge challenge for us," Moore said. "There's plenty to work on so that game's going to be a big test for us."

Looking to avenge last year's four-point loss to the Pumas at the same venue, the Australians started brightly enough. But they lost inside centre Matt Toomua after eight minutes when he took a heavy hit tackling his opposite Juan Pablo Socino and was unable to return after failing the concussion test.

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika made the unusual decision to replace him with Quade Cooper rather than Kurtley Beale, who played there all Super Rugby season. Cheika admitted the performance wasn't pretty but was happy his team were able to grind out the solid win.

"We just stuck at it," he said. "I didn't expect that margin and I don't think it was reflection of the game. We weren't perfect by any means but we kept doing what we were doing and kept playing consistently over the match and pushing Argentina into making mistakes."

While they scored a try through Joe Tomane soon after Cooper came on, their attack lost shape without hard-running Toomua. Tomane's try came after Argentine five-eighth Nicolas Sanchez kicked the ball down the throat of Israel Folau, who ran freely before the ball found the winger on the charge.

David Pocock of Australia fights off Argentina's defence, Argentina v Australia, Rugby Championship, Estadio Malvinas Argentinas, Argentina, July 25, 2015
David Pocock had a huge night for the Wallabies © Getty Images
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While Argentina were happy to throw the ball around and try anything to get through the Wallabies defence, they had to rely on Nicolas Sanchez's boot to post points on the board, while the Wallabies held onto a slim 8-6 lead at half-time with Foley missing the conversion and a penalty. But, Foley was quick to rectify his poor form in the opening half with another two successful strikes early in the second stanza opening up a 14-6 buffer.

Cooper's night hit a low in the 65th minute when he was yellow-carded after taking out Sanchez who had just kicked down-field. His card brought the biggest cheer of the night from the Mendoza crowd, with their team unable to notch a try. Lucky for Cooper, the only addition to the score in his absence was another Foley penalty.

Like in Brisbane when they edged South Africa, there were some things to like, particularly the impact of flanker David Pocock in his first start since 2012.

"I thought he was excellent," Cheika said. "He took a few opportunities on the ball and made a few runs so he's improved his ball carry this year immensely."

But it was Dean Mumm who had everyone talking after the match. Making his first return to Test rugby since 2012, Mumm danced down the tryline to score a try off his first touch. Connecting with Michael Hooper and Pocock, he bumped off two defenders, before he crashed over the line with two defenders on his back, making a 20-metre run.

Soon after the Wallabies moved up a gear and took total control of the match. Dominating the breakdown, and hammering the Pumas scrum, the Wallabies had all the possession and quickly saw Tevita Kuridrani and Adam-Ashley Cooper over in the dying minutes to pick up a bonus point and seal the win.

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