Rugby Championship: Australia claim narrow Argentina win

Michael Hooper
Michael Hooper scored a try in each half in Australia's victory on the Gold Coast
Australia (14) 32
Tries: Hooper (2), Betham
Con: Foley
Pens: Foley (5)
Argentina (7) 25
Try: Montero, Bosch, Tuculet
Cons: Sanchez (2)
Pens: Sanchez (2)

Australia survived a late rally from Argentina to win their Rugby Championship match 32-25 on the Gold Coast and move into joint second.

Captain Michael Hooper scored a try in each half for the Wallabies and fly-half Bernard Foley kicked 17 points.

Argentina picked up a bonus point, but were unable to record their first win in the competition despite scoring three tries.

Earlier New Zealand beat South Africa 14-10 to stay top of the table.

Hooper gave Australia the perfect start as he ran in from 22 metres for the opening try in the second minute.

But the Pumas soon found themselves in an unexpected lead, replying with a try of their own within four minutes.

Rugby Championship table
PlayedWonDrawnLostPoints differenceBonus pointsPoints
New Zealand431054216
South Africa42024210
Australia4211-23010
Argentina4004-3533

Winger Manuel Montero ran through three tackles on the blindside, 10 metres from inside his own half, to stun the hosts.

Foley kicked three penalties to put the Wallabies into a 14-7 lead at half-time and after the interval, Hooper picked up his second try to put his side further ahead.

Capitalising on a loose ball after Israel Folau's chip kick, the flanker ran in unopposed under the posts.

Peter Betham scored his first Test try on the hour, finishing a smart run and pass from scrum-half Nick Phipps and squeezing over in the corner to seemingly put the game out of reach at 29-13.

Then the momentum shifted as Marcelo Bosch reduced the deficit with a try 16 minutes from time, exploiting a gap out wide.

There was then even more reason to believe the visitors could cause an upset when Tomas Cubelli's kick through was finished by full-back Joaquim Tuculet.

Foley then kicked a penalty to take Australia seven points clear, but Argentina spurned chances for another try to level the scores in the closing five minutes.

Twice they were penalised five metres from the line, first for a knock-on and for putting the ball in too early at the scrum.

2014 Rugby Championship
16 August: Australia 12-12 New Zealand, South Africa 13-6 Argentina13 September: New Zealand 14-10 South Africa, Australia 32-25 Argentina
23 August: New Zealand 51-20 Australia, Argentina 31-33 South Africa27 September: South Africa v Australia, Argentina v New Zealand
6 September: New Zealand 28-9 Argentina, Australia 24-23 South Africa4 October: South Africa v New Zealand, Argentina v Australia

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