Adam Ashley-Cooper scored a hat-trick for Australia.
|Argentina: (9) 15|
|Pens: Sanchez 5|
|Australia: (19) 29|
|Tries: Simmons, Ashley-Cooper 3 Cons: Foley 3 Pens: Foley|
Australia advanced into the Rugby World Cup Final and sets up a dream match against New Zealand.
It is the first time man-of-the-match Ashley-Cooper will have the chance to play in a World Cup final in his third attempt, and the winger was lapping up the moment after the full-time whistle, while paying tribute to Argentina’s never-say-die approach.
“We knew they’d play from everywhere on the field and they did that tonight,” he said.
That was exactly what Argentina did. Deemed “fiery” by some and “suicidal” by others, Los Pumas had made a series of costly mistakes early that would have cost them the game.
But they refused to yield and Nicolas Sanchez’s flawless boot – he kicked five penalties in all – saw them trail by seven points with 26 minutes to go.
Roared on by a passionate support that included football World Cup winner Diego Maradona, Argentina had chances in the second half as they took control up front and utilised their explosive runners.
But they lacked the composure to exploit several possible overlaps even after beginning to win scrum battles and the victories that come with it. As such, Ashley-Cooper took the opening and completed a hat-trick of tries late on to secure victory.
Now, with two World Cups victory under each of their respective belts, either Australia or New Zealand will look forward to being the first three-time Rugby World Cup Champions.