Preview: Australia v Argentina – {16/09/2017}

The Wallabies will be keen to continue their resurgence when they host Argentina in Canberra on Saturday in the Rugby Championship.

Australian rugby has had a year to forget. Their Super Rugby sides failed to register a single win against New Zealand opposition in 25 attempts.

Off the field there was the ongoing saga over which of their Super Rugby franchises would be cut. And questions were raised by former captain Stephen Moore over whether the clubs had adequately prepared the players in terms of conditioning after a shocking loss to Scotland and narrowly avoiding defeat against Italy.

However, the Wallabies’ last two games have seen a marked improvement. Three weeks ago, they were two minutes away from an historic win against the All Blacks but conceded a last-gasp try and last weekend they showed character to hold on to a 23-23 draw in the face of a late Springbok onslaught.

Argentina have also had one of their worst years to date, having only won one of their six Tests so far in 2017. The last time they finished a calendar year with a lower win rate was when they went winless from three games in 1976.

However, they are always unpredictable. Last weekend when it was expected they would suffer a drubbing at the hands of the All Blacks, they defied the bookmakers with a 16-15 first-half lead. They weren’t able to maintain that intensity for the full 80 minutes but they will take a lot of confidence from that first-half performance.

Although they will have to improve their discipline which has seen them receive two yellows and one red in three games and concede a whole host of penalties.

Australia have a proud record in the capital, having won their previous four Tests at GIO Stadium by an average margin of 38 points.

And they too have a proud record against Argentina, having won 13 of the last 14 meetings between the sides, including each of the last four between the nations.

Previous results:

2016: Australia won 33-21 in London
2016: Australia won 36-20 in Perth
2015: Australia won 29-15 in London (RWC semi-final)
2015: Australia won 34-9 in Mendoza
2014: Argentina won 21-17 in Mendoza
2014: Australia won 32-25 in Gold Coast
2013: Australia won 54-17 in Rosario
2013: Australia won 14-13 in Perth
2012: Australia won 25-19 in Rosario
2012: Australia won 23-19 in Gold Coast

The teams:

Australia: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Reece Hodge, 10 Bernard Foley (vc), 9 Will Genia (vc), 8 Sean McMahon, 7 Michael Hooper (c), 6 Ned Hanigan, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Scott Sio
Replacements: 16 Jordan Uelese, 17 Tom Robertson, 18 Allan Alaalatoa, 19 Izack Rodda, 20 Jack Dempsey, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Samu Kerevi, 23 Marika Koroibete

Argentina: 15 Emiliano Boffelli, 14 Matias Moroni, 13 Matias Orlando, 12 Jeronimo de la Fuente, 11 Ramiro Moyano, 10 Nicolas Sanchez, 9 Martin Landajo, 8 Tomas Lezana, 7 Javier Ortega Desio, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Matias Alemanno, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Nahuel tatez Chaparro, 2 Agustin Creevy, 1 Lucas Noguera
Replacements: 16 Julian Montoya, 17 Santiago Garcia Botta, 18 Enrique Pieretto, 19 Marcos Kremer, 20 Juan Martin Leguizamon, 21 Tomas Cubelli, 22 Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias, 23 Manuel Montero

Date: Saturday, September 16
Venue: GIO Stadium, Canberra
Kick-off: 20:00 local (10:00 GMT)
Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Glen Jackson (New Zealand), Paul Williams (New Zealand)
TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)



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