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Rugby World Cup: Wallabies outgun Argentina to set up final date with New Zealand All Blacks

The Wallabies have survived a semi-final battle with Argentina to run out 29-15 winners at Twickenham and set up a dream World Cup final date with New Zealand.
Adam Ashley-Cooper scored a hat-trick of tries, the last of which was an unforgettable effort set up by Drew Mitchell in the 72nd minute that finally killed off Los Pumas' challenge.

The Wallabies scored four tries to nil but had trouble shaking off a determined Argentina outfit, who stayed in touch thanks to the boot of Nicolas Sanchez, who kicked five penalties.
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.
"They're a threat with ball in hand from one to 15 all across the park.
"All I've wanted to do was play a World Cup final so I'm extremely stoked."
Israel Folau limped off in the 65th minute after a shaky performance on his return from a calf injury.
The other Wallaby who had been under a cloud before the game, David Pocock, was immediately back to his brilliant best in the semi-final, earning four of his side's 10 turnovers.

Scott Fardy, who topped the tackle count with 16, was superb in defence, as were Michael Hooper and captain Stephen Moore.
Los Pumas were hit hard by injuries at key points of the game, with captain Agustin Creevy and playmaker Juan Manuel Hernandez both forced off.
"We are very sad. But ... we want to keep our heads up .... we want to finish in the top three," Creevy said.
Wallabies coach Michael Cheika and scrum guru Mario Ledesma have work to do before the final, with Argentina continually proving the smarter side at the set piece, while Bernard Foley's wayward goal kicking meant it was all the more difficult for his team to kick away on the scoreboard.

Flying start for the Wallabies

Barely a minute into the game Argentina was on the back foot, as Rob Simmons pawed at a Sanchez pass and the ball stuck, leaving him to stride over for the opening try.
At 67 seconds it was the fastest try scored at this World Cup.
Los Pumas appeared out of sorts in the opening stages and though they got on the board thanks to a penalty, a ninth-minute knock-on from Martin Landajo gave the Wallabies another opportunity to attack the line.
If the giant Simmons had been somewhat ungainly as he crossed, Australia's second try was pure elegance in its execution.
The Wallabies immediately spread the ball wide from the scrum and Foley's floating cut-out pass landed on the chest of Ashley-Cooper, who touched down close to the right corner flag.
Pocock emphasised just how crucial he is to the cause by once again proving immense at the breakdown.
His turnovers ensured Australia kept the momentum throughout the opening stanza, though Sanchez's accurate penalty kicking kept Los Pumas in touch.
Just as Argentina was working its way back into the game, it found itself forced to endure 10 minutes with 14 men as Tomas Lavanini was yellow carded for a no-arms tackle on Folau.
Australia utilised the space and it was Matt Giteau's turn to throw the gorgeous cut-out, with Ashley-Cooper again the beneficiary, this time touching down on the left edge.

Mitchell's moment of magic

A 19-9 lead at the break perhaps flattered the Pumas, who upped their game in the second half to keep the favourites under intense pressure.
Prop James Slipper, in for the injured Scott Sio, struggled throughout against the brutal Argentina scrum, and he conceded a penalty in the 45th minute which resulted in Los Pumas closing to within five points.
Just like in the games against Scotland and Wales, the Wallabies had to produce a heroic defensive effort as Argentina upped the intensity and began to find gaps as they threw the ball around.
Mitchell then produced a moment of magic worthy of a World Cup semi-final.
Receiving the ball from Nick Phipps on the halfway line, the experienced winger embarked on a jinking run which involved as much sideways movement as forward progress but left a host of Argentina defenders in its wake.
Mitchell finally offloaded a shaky ball to Ashley-Cooper, who only had to gather it off the bounce to complete his second World Cup hat-trick.
Foley converted to make the margin 14, which proved sufficient to see the Wallabies into the final.
Next weekend's decider at Twickenham represents the first time Australia and New Zealand have met in a World Cup final.


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