Wallabies hold on to pip Pumas
NOT even lasers aimed at the eyes of goal-kickers Mike Harris and Kurtley Beale (pictured) could prevent the injury-ravaged Wallabies from overcoming an Argentinean ambush in Rosario yesterday.
Australia ended the Rugby Championship in second place behind New Zealand after hanging on for a gutsy 25-19 win over the Pumas.
With the teams scoring a try each, it was the goal-kicking of fullback Harris, who landed seven from eight, including six penalties, which proved the difference.
The performance of Harris was impressive given red and green lasers could be seen targeting him, especially when he lined up a shot at goal in the 56th minute. The Queenslander stopped and complained to referee Craig Joubert. The laser attack continued and Harris missed the kick. It was the only goal he failed to slot.
Winger Digby Ioane scored Australia's lone try in the 65th minute but the Pumas fought back, scoring a try through Juan Imhoff in the 75th minute to put them back in contention. The triumph meant Australia, which won three of its six games in the series, finished 14 points behind the All Blacks.
The All Blacks, undefeated in their past 16 Tests, signed off with a 32-16 mauling of the Springboks. The Wallabies will tackle the All Blacks in the final Bledisloe Cup clash in Brisbane on October 20.
- RICHARD HARVEY