Wallabies give Genia a fitting farewell with win over Pumas - GulfToday

Wallabies give Genia a fitting farewell with win over Pumas

Australia’s Reece Hodge takes a high ball during their Rugby Championship match against Argentina on Saturday. Agence France-Presse

Australia rebounded from last week’s loss to South Africa to get the better of Argentina 16-10 in the Rugby Championship on Saturday, giving scrum-half Will Genia an emotional send-off in his final Test in Brisbane.

A week after their disappointing 35-17 loss to South Africa, the Wallabies gave Genia a fitting farewell at his home ground prior to his retirement from Tests after the Rugby World Cup.

He was outstanding against the Pumas, organising the backline brilliantly and often getting the Wallabies out of trouble with a fine kicking game.

Both sides scored one try each, but three penalties from Christian Lealiifano -- back with the Wallabies after fighting off leukaemia -- saw the Wallabies home in front of 32,000 supporters at Suncorp Stadium.

Former bad boy James O’Connor also came on in the second half for his first appearance since the Wallabies tore up his contract in 2013 following a series of transgressions.

The Wallaby defence held the visitors tryless until six minutes from full-time when number eight Facundo Isa crashed over at the back of a rolling maul to get the Pumas to within six points.

The win will give under siege Australian coach Michael Cheika some breathing space after a series of poor results in 2018 and their defeat at the hands of the Springboks.

The visitors, who were so impressive in their 20-16 loss to the All Blacks last weekend, dropped the ball at key moments against the Wallabies.

After Lealiifano and Nicolas Sanchez traded early penalties, Argentina should have scored the first try in the 25th minute, only for front-rower Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro to drop the ball a metre out with the line wide open. They were punished five minutes later when Australian winger Reece Hodge finished off a fine attacking move.

Lealiifano found Marika Koroibete on the inside, the big winger then dummying to centre Samu Kerevi before passing to fullback Kurtley Beale.

Beale then drew the defence before giving Hodge a simple run to the line to give the Wallabies a 10-3 lead at the break.

Lealiifano made it 16-3 in the second half with two penalties. The Wallabies let the Pumas back in the game when they conceded a penalty at the breakdown with five minutes remaining.

From the ensuing line-out, Isa barged over to get the visitors within striking distance.

But they never looked like overhauling the Wallabies and an Argentina knock-on in front of their own posts was a fitting end to the game.

Agence France-Presse

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