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Wallabies tame Pumas to break Rugby Championship duck

Israel Folau of the Wallabies is tackled by Jeronimo de la Fuente of Argentina.
Israel Folau of the Wallabies is tackled by Jeronimo de la Fuente of Argentina. LUKAS COCH

ISRAEL Folau and the Wallabies have turned on the second-half style in Canberra to outclass Argentina 45-20 and record their first win of the Rugby Championship season.

Australia trailed 13-10 at halftime as grumpy coach Michael Cheika lamented a lack of urgency from his men in an interview with Fox Sports.

Cheika added that he was confident things would come right and that was how it transpired as fullback Folau, captain Michael Hooper and flanker Sean McMahon led a much-improved second-half performance in the eventual six tries to two victory.

Folau, who had been in the news all week because of his public stance against gay marriage, rewrote history on the field by becoming the first Wallabies player to score four doubles in one Test season.

Australia was also ruthless in taking advantage of the sin-binning of Pumas prop Enrique Pieretto, running in three tries in the final 10 minutes to halfbacks Will Genia and Nick Phipps then second-Test hooker Jordan Uelese, the first of what should be many.

 

Michael Hooper of the Wallabies makes a break during against Argentina.
Michael Hooper of the Wallabies makes a break during against Argentina. MICK TSIKAS

Sekope Kepu was Australia's other tryscorer, burrowing over in the 49th minute to spark the dominant second half.

"At halftime I didn't have to say anything," Cheika told Fox Sports' Rod Kafer after the match.

"A lack of urgency, I'm not sure why because they're playing for Australia.

"I'm sorry that the first half was a bit slow.

"But they sorted themselves out and it was a much better second half."

Australia remains third in the Rugby Championship but can leapfrog the Springboks into second by beating them in their next match in Bloemfontein.

South Africa were annihilated 57-0 by leaders New Zealand in Saturday's earlier Test in North Harbour.

Topics:  pumas rugby championship wallabies

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