December 12, 2013
Rugby championshipSunday, October 6, 2013
Pumas lose 54-17 to Wallabies
Australia beat Argentina by a record 54-17 in Rosario to close the Rugby Championship and leave the Pumas winless. New Zealand retained the title with a thrilling 38-27 victory over South Africa.
ROSARIO — An Israel Folau hat-trick has inspired the Wallabies to a much-needed 54-17 win over Argentina in Rosario.
Folau was brilliant for Australia, having a hand in a fourth try as they consigned the Pumas to the Rugby Championship wooden spoon with a commanding victory.
Wingers Joe Tomane and Adam Ashley-Cooper also got on the board with five-pointers as the Wallabies scored a four-try bonus point for the first time since the 2011 Rugby World Cup. Prop Benn Robinson crashed over for Australia’s sixth try late in the match before Bernard Foley scored on his Test debut to help the Wallabies break the 50-point barrier for the first time in the Rugby Championship
It was the last match of former captain Felipe Contepomi with the Argentine national team.
In Johannesburg, New Zealand enhanced its credentials as the best team in the world by continually coming back against a pumped-up South Africa to win 38-27 in a sizzling finale to keep the Rugby Championship title.
The top-ranked and world champion All Blacks took their recent dominance a significant step further by winning at Ellis Park for the first time in 16 years and scoring five tries in the intimidating inner-city cauldron against a No. 2-ranked Springboks team that probably played as well as it could on attack — and scored four tries against the All Blacks for the first time in nearly a decade.
New Zealand’s fourth try and title-winning blow came in the 61st minute of a breathless contest when replacement flyhalf Beauden Barrett sliced through, and outstanding No. 8 Kieran Read scored the fifth two minutes later to completely shatter the Boks.
“Days like today are the reason you put on the boots,” All Blacks captain Richie McCaw said after his 120th test but first at Ellis.
Coach Steve Hansen opened his media conference by saying he wanted to congratulate both teams on “a very special game of rugby.”
“Both sets of players left everything on the park and both countries should be very proud of their teams,” Hansen said.
But it is mighty New Zealand which holds every major title it is eligible for. The All Blacks, playing 20 minutes of the second half a man down, took everything a desperate South Africa could muster and finished a gripping match stronger for a sixth win from six in the championship. “If we sit down and analyze the game, I’m sure we can find a lot of positives,” Springboks skipper Jean de Villiers said of his shattered team. “But we can never be happy with this result.”