Match Centre: Rugby Championship: Australia 31-34 Argentina

Emiliano Boffelli contributed with 14 points
Emiliano Boffelli contributed with 14 points
©Steve Haag

Australia 31-34 Argentina, Sydney

Juan Martin Gonzalez scored the decisive try in the closing stage as Argentina edged out Australia 34-31 in the second round of the Rugby Championship in Sydney.

The result also meant the Wallabies are yet to win a game since Eddie Jones took over as they are at the bottom of the table after losing both the matches.

Argentina missed an early penalty opportunity as Emiliano Boffelli's kick hit the left-hand upright before Quade Cooper sent a long pass to Marika Koroibete, who offloaded to Len Ikitau as he went over for the opening try to get the Wallabies off the mark. Cooper kicked the conversion much to the delight of Jones as they raced to a 7-0 lead.

An infringement from the Pumas allowed the home side to stretch their lead further with a penalty kick from Cooper before Argentina won a penalty at breakdown allowing Boffelli to kick successfully in the 20th minute making it 10-3.

The scores were levelled by the 26th minute as Gonzalo Bertranou laid the foundation for Jeronimo De La Fuente to score and Boffelli slotted the extras. Just at the brink of the half-time, Australia were down to 14 players temporarily as Richie Arnold on his first Test start was sin-binned for deliberately playing at the ball off his feet to deny a certain score.

Argentina eventually made use of the extra man advantage as captain Julian Montoya dived over at the back of a line out maul and Boffelli's conversion made it 10-17 before Nic White dotted down for the hosts after a 5m scrum that was set under the posts to level the scores once again.

A technical infringement from Australia allowed Boffelli to put the Pumas in front with a penalty goal in the 60th minute and they increased their lead further Mateo Carreras made a curving run and evaded a tackle from David Porecki to touchdown making it 17-27 with 10 minutes left in the game.

The Wallabies once again bounced back as Samu Kerevi scored following a build up from Cooper, who also kicked a conversion to make it a three-point game before they seized a 31-27 lead following a breathtaking try from Mark Nawaqanitawase in the 75th minute. Just when the Wallabies thought they sealed the game, Juan Martin Gonzalez had other plans with his 79th minute leading the Pumas to a thrilling win.

Australia XV: 1 James Slipper (c), 2 David Porecki, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 4 Richie Arnold, 5 Will Skelton, 6 Jed Holloway, 7 Fraser McReight, 8 Rob Valetini, 9 Nic White, 10 Quade Cooper, 11 Marika Koroibete, 12, Samu Kerevi, 13, Len Ikitau, 14 Mark Nawaqanitawase, 15 Tom Wright.

Reserves: 16 Jordan Uelese, 17 Angus Bell, 18 Pone Fa’amausili, 19 Matt Philip, 20 Rob Leota, 21 Josh Kemeny, 22 Tate McDermott, 23 Carter Gordon

Argentina XV: 15. Emiliano Boffelli, 14. Rodrigo Isgro, 13. Lucio Cinti, 12. Jeronimo De La Fuente, 11. Mateo Carreras, 10. Santiago Carreras, 9. Gonzalo Bertranou, 8. Juan Martin Gonzalez, 7. Santiago Grondona, 6. Pablo Matera, 5. Tomas Lavanini, 4. Matias Alemanno, 3. Francisco Gomez Kodela, 2. Julian Montoya (c), 1. Thomas Gallo.

Reserves: 16. Agustin Creevy, 17. Hahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 18. Eduardo Bello, 19. Lucas Paulos, 20. Rodrigo Bruni, 21. Lautaro Bazan Velez, 22. Nicolas Sanchez, 23. Matias Moroni.