The Wallabies got their Rugby World Cup Semifinal against Argentina off to a dream start as lock Rob Simmons scored the fastest try of this year’s tournament, an intercept, coming within a minute and eight seconds of kickoff. It set the tone and despite staying within touch all match, Argentina were not able to seriously threaten a composed and organised Australian team.
While Adam-Ashley Cooper was on hand to pick up a hat-trick, just the second man ever to do so in a RWC Semifinal after Jonah Lomu in 1995, it was number eight David Pocock who was immense.
Pocock combined with Michael Hooper and Scott Fardy to form a potent loose trio, as Australia finished the match with 10 turnovers. Pocock looked back to his best, claiming four turnovers himself to continue his overall lead in the tournament, while also making 13 tackles on the night.
Flanker Fardy was also excellent, making 16 tackles and throwing his body all over the park, while lock Kane Douglas also put in the hard graft for 14 tackles of his own.
The Wallabies actually had to make 142 tackles to just 95 for Argentina, as Los Pumas hammered the line in an effort to make that key breakthrough. As it was, the match ended with four tries to Australia, and just 5 penalties to Nicolas Sanchez.
“We worked really hard in defence, that’s something that we want to do nomatter what because it’s a sign of your team spirit and we wanted to work hard there,” said coach Michael Cheika.
The 1991 and 1999 winners will face New Zealand in the final on Saturday, meaning that one of the two sides will go to three tournament wins. Currently New Zealand, Australia and South Africa all sit on two tournament victories each.
Argentina will face South Africa in the third place play off on Friday night.