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Argentina 48-17 Australia: Pumas romp to rare win over depleted Wallabies
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Ryan Benson
LiveScore
Thomas Gallo (C) was key to Argentina's success
Thomas Gallo (C) was key to Argentina's success

Argentina claimed a rare win over Australia as the Pumas emerged 48-17 victors in an entertaining Rugby Championship clash on Saturday.

Australia had only lost one of their previous 14 Tests against Argentina, but the depleted Wallabies were clearly second best in San Juan as Michael Cheika's side got their first points on the table.

A fast start had the Pumas 14-0 up by the seventh minute thanks to tries from Juan Imhoff and Thomas Gallo, and just when Australia looked to have the momentum, another quickfire double courtesy of Jeronimo De La Fuente and Juan Martin Gonzalez had the hosts back in charge.

The second half was a much tighter affair until Gallo's second try of the day, the Pumas ultimately romping to an emphatic victory with more late tries from Emiliano Boffelli and Tomas Albornoz. 

A purposeful Argentina were helped to an early lead as a defensive mix-up saw the ball drop kindly in Australia's 22 for Imhoff, who darted over before a successful conversion.

They got their second try of the match in just the fifth minute as prop Gallo bundled over under the posts, with the extras added once again by Boffelli amid a ferocious start by the hosts.

Australia responded as James Slipper went over from close range following a well-worked lineout, and James O'Connor converted before also successfully kicking a penalty.

O'Connor looked to have put Australia in front with 21 thrilling minutes played, but an earlier infringement earned Argentina a reprieve that they duly took full advantage of.

De La Fuente beat two men and dotted down for a gutsy try after seemingly pulling his hamstring partway through his run, and another fine Boffelli kick opened up an 11-point lead.

The deficit was further increased five minutes later thanks to Gonzalez, who charged clear from outside the 22 following an O'Connor fumble, but Australia had a lucky escape soon after when Boffelli had a try harshly chalked off despite appearing to touch the line with the ball.

After a quiet start to the second period, the Pumas effectively put the game beyond Australia with 16 minutes to go.

Gallo again showed great strength to force his way over from close range, and Boffelli's conversion made it 36-10.

Len Ikitau quickly hit back with a try of his own and O'Connor kicked the extras, but Bofelli then touched down after chasing down a low kick and with the final action of the game, Albornoz ran in behind to cap a memorable win.

Gallo embodies Pumas' spirit

This was some performance from 23-year-old Gallo. The prop's power and sheer determination was routinely on display, and never more crucially than with his two tries.

The two efforts were very similar in style as he simply refused to be tackled, and the second of which essentially killed off any hope of an Australia comeback.

O'Connor frustrated

The mercurial fly-half was given the chance to impress in the absence of Quade Cooper, who suffered a serious Achilles injury in Mendoza last weekend, and he certainly had his moments.

One such instance was his disallowed try, a decision that looked pretty harsh at the time. But ultimately he just did not have the influence he might have expected, and was also the man caught in possession prior to Gonzalez dotting down.

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