Argentina yesterday battled back to earn a brutal 15-15 Tri Nations draw in a messy game against Australia, reinforcing their credentials after an epic win against the All Blacks last week.
The Pumas looked in trouble when they slipped nine points behind in the second half in Newcastle, north of Sydney, but the golden boot of Nicolas Sanchez rescued them to keep the tournament wide open.
After his 25 points against New Zealand, he again bagged them all, with his Australia opposite number Reece Hodge missing a penalty in the dying minutes to secure a win for the Wallabies.
Mario Ledesma’s side came into the match on a high after their first-ever win against New Zealand in 35 years last weekend, and their passion and intensity again carried them through.
The result left all three teams on six points on the Tri Nations ladder, but Argentina have a game in hand with a return clash against the All Blacks in a week’s time before facing Australia once more.
Australia coach Dave Rennie kept the same backline who helped orchestrate their own upset of the All Blacks two weeks ago and, steered by No. 10 Hodge, they once more ran the show at a sold-out McDonald Jones Stadium.
The hosts dominated possession in the first half, but were plagued by poor execution that saw two tries disallowed and other chances wasted.
Australia took a 9-6 advantage into the second stanza and stretched their lead to nine points, but the Pumas refused to give up.
The odds were always stacked against Argentina, who went into the game having lost 17 of their past 19 against the Wallabies, including 14 of the previous 15 in Australia.
However, they were buzzing with confidence as they searched for a fourth win in five Tests.
Australia applied the early pressure and got the first points on the board with Hodge nailing his first penalty of the night after just three minutes, only for Sanchez to cancel it out almost immediately.
The Wallabies began stringing together attacking runs and center Jordan Petaia was desperately unlucky to have an acrobatic try disallowed after his foot strayed onto the chalk chasing a deft Hunter Paisami grubber.
Argentina were on the back foot, absorbing pressure as Australia dominated territory only for errors to creep in at critical times.
Ill-discipline cost them another penalty on 32 minutes against the run of play as frustration crept in, with Sanchez converting before Hodge leveled the scores.
It set up a frantic finish to the half as tempers frayed and scuffles broke out, with hulking Taniela Tupou and Sanchez among the culprits.
Wallaby Marika Koroibete had a try disallowed for a forward pass just before the break and their pressure finally paid off with Hodge kicking another penalty after the hooter for a 9-6 lead.
He bagged his fourth minutes after the restart as Pumas’ hooker Julian Montoya was sent to the sin bin for persistent offending and made it five-out-of-five to further extend their lead.
However, the irrepressible Sanchez kept the Pumas in the hunt as drizzle came down, booting three consecutive penalties to level the scores as the momentum shifted to the visitors’ advantage.
Hodge had a golden opportunity to win the game with two minutes left, but sent his kick veering off to the right.
After a long week cooking and cleaning in the cramped households of Hong Kong, a group of Philippine domestic workers are using their Sunday off for an unlikely hobby: cricket. They are proving rather good at it. Despite no background in the game, scant coaching and little time, the SCC Divas have made a startling impact, winning Hong Kong’s development league twice in their first two seasons and going unbeaten since stepping up to the main divisions this year. Along the way, they have inspired the Philippines’ first national women’s cricket team, providing seven of its players, while shaking up Hong Kong’s sleepy
One of this year’s strangest NFL stories appears to have reached a conclusion, with robbery charges against former New York Giants cornerback Deandre Baker dropped by authorities in Florida. The 23-year-old Baker was facing a possible life sentence after he was charged with four counts of robbery. It was claimed that Baker, along with Seattle Seahawks cornerback Quinton Dunbar and two other men, robbed partygoers of thousands of US dollars in cash, watches and other valuables at a party in Florida in May. The charges against Dunbar were dropped in August. Baker, a first-round pick for the Giants last year, was
The treatment of Pacific Island rugby union players in the professional era is compared to colonialism in a new documentary film produced and narrated by former Samoa international Dan Leo. Oceans Apart: Greed, Betrayal and Pacific Island Rugby accuses World Rugby and the sport’s elite nations of exploiting the player resources of the Pacific Islands while retaining almost all of the wealth that those players create. The island nations of Fiji, Samoa and Tonga have a combined population of only 1.5 million people, but provide almost one-quarter of all professional rugby players. At last year’s Rugby World Cup in Japan, 42 players
‘THAT HURT’: Ferran Torres scored an inspired treble, and despite Sergio Ramos leaving the pitch with a hamstring strain, Germany could not stem the tide Spain on Tuesday dealt Germany their worst defeat in 89 years with a stunning 6-0 victory in Seville to qualify for the UEFA Nations League finals, joining France, who came from behind to beat Sweden 4-2. Germany have not been beaten so heavily since losing to Austria by the same scoreline in a friendly in 1931. “That hurt,” German midfielder Toni Kroos said. “The Spanish team showed us at every turn how it’s done — with and without the ball.” “There are no excuses. Now we know where we stand,” Serge Gnabry added. Spain were as sublime as Germany were abysmal in Seville, where