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Wallabies qualify for Rugby World Cup final with tense win over Pumas

The Roar logo The Roar 25/10/2015

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Adam Ashley-Cooper has scored a hat-trick as the Wallabies booked their spot in the Rugby World Cup final with a 29-15 win over Argentina.

It started out as a romp but finished as a battle for the Wallabies used every ounce of energy they had to hold their line against a rampaging Pumas outfit in the second half.

David Pocock was immense in both halves, earning turnover after turnover in the breakdown for Australia, and showing no sign of the calf injury that threatened to rule him out of the game

The same couldn’t be said for Israel Folau, who looked a step off the pace through the game and limped off midway through the second half after copping a knock on his troublesome ankle.

The Pumas also copped their fair share of injuries through the game, with skipper Augustin Creevy coming off in the first half, and centre Juan Martin Hernandez copping a knock early before coming off at the start of the second half.

While the first half may have been a story of attack and tries for Australia, they were equally impressive in defence to hold off the impressive Pumas in the second.

It was the worst possible start for Argentina, who thew an inside pass in their own half, only for it to be plucked out of the air by Rob Simmons.

The big second rower streaked away to score under the posts, to give Australia a 7-0 lead and the perfect start to a World Cup semi-final.

Australia's Adam Ashley-Cooper scores his second try and his side's third during the Rugby World Cup, Semi Final at Twickenham Stadium, London. © David Davies/PA Australia's Adam Ashley-Cooper scores his second try and his side's third during the Rugby World Cup, Semi Final at Twickenham Stadium, London. Adam Ashley-Cooper was the beneficiary of a sparkling start from the Wallabies’ backline, with two tries in the opening half hour.

The winger crossed twice in either corner, once from a well-worked set piece movement culminating in a long ball to send him over on the right hand edge.

His second came in the 32nd minute, after plenty of pressure was applied to the Pumas, who were without Tomas Lavanini due to a yellow card. It culminated in an overlap on the left side, with Matt Giteau throwing a pinpoint pass to his vice-captain for this second.

Three tries for the Wallabies, two converted by Bernard Foley, met three penalties to Nicolas Sanchez as the teams went into the sheds at 19-9.

The second half promised to be a tight affair, and it delivered.

Australia's Rob Simmons (right) celebrates scoring his side's first try with his team-mates during the Rugby World Cup, Semi Final at Twickenham Stadium, London. © Gareth Fuller/PA Australia's Rob Simmons (right) celebrates scoring his side's first try with his team-mates during the Rugby World Cup, Semi Final at Twickenham Stadium, London. Argentina had stayed in touch in the first half, and started to pick up momentum as the tension built.

Scrum penalties against the Wallabies mounted, as the crowd began to get behind the Pumas.

A missed penalty early from Bernard Foley found a response from Nicolas Sanchez, who brought the Pumas to within seven points of the Wallabies.

The teams traded two more penalties, as the Argentines hammered the Wallabies’ line. The Australians’ defence and discipline managed to hold, just, with the backrow of Scott Fardy, Pocock and Michael Hooper outstanding in making their tackles.

Similarly, Bernard Foley and Drew Mitchell made some special covering tackles when the line was breached. It was a tremendous effort in the face of some inspired attack from Argentina.

Nicolas Sanchez attacked the line with great footwork, and despite the early loss of key winger Juan Imhoff, Santiago Cordero stepped up to poke holes in the Wallabies line.

It all came to nothing for the Pumas, who failed to score a try, and as the game entered the final ten minutes, Drew Mitchell stepped up for Australia.

He beat eight defenders down the left touchline, cut back in-field and threw an ugly pass to his fellow winger Adam Ashley-Cooper.

Ugly it may have been, but it was effective, and Ashey-Cooper got his hat-trick, and iced the game for Australia in one play.

Both teams were out on their feet in the last ten minutes as the Pumas searched for a consolation try. Once again, Pocock and Hooper worked overtime, despite having no petrol left, to deny the Argentineans a five-pointer, to send the Wallabies through to the Rugby World Cup final 29-15.

The stage is set. All Blacks vs Wallabies in the Rugby World Cup final in one week.

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