Any Australian nerves were settled within the first minute as some loose passing from Argentina allowed Rob Simmonds to intercept and score under the posts. Playing with as much emotion as the Pumas do, this did not help their cause.
It got worse for Argentina when Tomas Lavanini was yellow carded when a penalty was probably all that was required. Later they lost the influential Imhoff and then their skipper Creevy to injury.
With everything apparently going wrong for the Pumas the Wallabies steadily continued with their game.
Leading by 10 points at half time, it looked a long way back for the Argentinians and the Aussies knew it would be tough and prepared themselves for a second half onslaught. The Australian’s defence held firm and all of Argentina’s attempts were thwarted by either spilt ball or the Wallabies kicking to the other end of the field.
Along with Pocock, Adam Ashley Cooper was another Wallaby to star in the game and he managed to score a hat trick of tries to become only the second man to do so in World Cup history. Argentina’s stand out player was Hernandez who kicked accurately and his movement when he had the ball in hand was excellent.
The Argentinians can be proud of their efforts. Their coach was caught on TV shedding a tear of despair at the loss, but in truth it should be tears of joy, they have performed admirably in this tournament.
As for the Aussies, well what Michael Cheika has done in 10 months is nothing short of miraculous. A team short of confidence and belief in their own ability and a scrum that was not fit for purpose. Now they are on the brink of a remarkable turnaround. However Cheika was forthright in his press conference about not taking the credit “I’m not taking credit. It is about players wanting to play. I don’t know if we are turned around, the guys are just playing for each other and want to play for Australia. In rugby, the basis is to be committed to your teammates. We are just going day by day.”
The All Blacks will be a different proposition entirely next weekend, and maybe it will be one game too many for this team that has grown so much over this tournament you just never now. Either way I am guessing it will be another cracker of a game.