An Andrew Kellaway hat-trick has him within reach of Wallabies history after a 32-17 defeat of Argentina gave them four straight Rugby Championship Test wins for the first time.
Samu Kerevi’s ankle injury was the only concern on the Gold Coast on Saturday, with the form centre limping off after 50 minutes as Australia toyed with the winless Pumas, who scored two late tries to soften the damage.
Winger Kellaway, who was shifted to fullback after fellow try-scorer Kerevi’s departure, was in the thick of it again.
The 25-year-old finished a neat set play off a line-out in the first half then ran on to two more in the second half, while again proving a level head in defence and in open spaces with possession.
Kellaway, a Sydney junior prodigy who returned from an overseas stint with the Melbourne Rebels late last season, now has eight tries in a debut year that has included six starts and two caps off the bench against France.
With four Tests still to play he has a chance to break Israel Folau’s Wallabies record of 10 tries in a debut year.
Argentina were not the force of last season when they twice drew with Australia, completing a winless Rugby Championship with six players ineligible after a mid-week trip across the border locked them out of Queensland.
Australia could smell blood but it was not until Kerevi’s departure that they took full toll.
With Reece Hodge moved to replace Kerevi in the centres, Kellaway shifted to fullback and barged over as the Wallabies ran back a shallow Pumas exit kick.
He then accepted a slick backhand flick from Len Ikitau to ice the cake.
Folau Fainga’a scored the game’s first try, finding space behind a lineout to sneak over after Thomas Lavanini was yellow-carded for repeated penalties.
The hooker’s soft hands put Valetini through a gap that led to Kellaway’s first, Australia finally executing after a messy first 30 minutes.
Springboks strike late to end All Blacks’ winning run
New Zealand saw a 10-match winning streak snapped when world champions South Africa kicked a last-minute penalty for a 31-29 victory in the later game on the Gold Coast.
Springboks replacement back Elton Jantjies slotted home the goal after the siren when the All Blacks were penalised for offside.
Despite the defeat, New Zealand were comfortable winners of the 2021 Rugby Championship with five victories in six matches.
Having lost their three previous games on Australian soil, South Africa showed great character to come back from 20-14 down at half-time.
A well-worked Makazole Mapimpi try put the Springboks in front in the 53rd minute.
The lead changed several times in the last 10 minutes, with the All Blacks trying to hold off the desperate South Africans.
After a long-range Jantjies drop goal gave the Springboks a 28-26 lead in the 76th minute, Jordie Barrett inched New Zealand back in front three minutes later with a clutch penalty goal.
But South Africa wrestled possession from the ensuing kick-off before the match’s dramatic conclusion.
“That’s what this team’s about, we never stop fighting,” Springboks half-back Faf de Klerk told Stan Sport.
“It’s a classic, classic game between the number 1 and number 2 [teams] in the world.”
South Africa finished the Rugby Championship in third spot with a record of three wins and three defeats.
Source link : https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-10-02/wallabies-beat-argentina-pumas-to-end-rugby-championship/100509490
Publish date : 2021-10-02 06:32:34