Argentina ran in seven tries in biggest ever win against Australia | Sport

The Wallabies have been unable to back up their opening Rugby Championship success, crashing to a 48-17 loss to Argentina in a hero-crushing affair in San Juan.

It was the Pumas’ biggest ever win over the Australians and on the back of the thumping bonus point win, they moved to the top of the Four Nations standings.

Argentina raced to a 26-10 halftime lead and the Wallabies were unable to repeat the second half that led to their Mendoza Test win last week.

Australia had a James O’Connor try, which would have given them the lead, disallowed in the 20th minute in a confusing refereeing decision and the Pumas scored minutes later in the 14-point turnaround.

It proved to be a turning point with the remainder of the match almost one-way in a disappointing display by the visitors.

Pumas coach Michael Cheika switched up his game plan and used their contentious kicking game to expose the inexperience of Australia’s back three.

The home side ramped up the pressure in a physical performance with the Wallabies, who are missing key men skipper Michael Hooper through personal leave and injury, without an answer.

Australia got off to the worst possible start and were 14-0 down after seven minutes. Veteran wing Juan Imhoff opened the scoring in the first minute when he got to a mix-up between Wallabies wing Jordan Petaia and full-back Tom Wright and raced to the line.

On the back of a 50-22 kick by Santiago Carreras, the Pumas had a line of attack five yards out with fired prop Thomas Gallo barreling over.

The Wallabies began to find their feet and got on the board in the 12th minute after Rob Valetini burst forward and set up a quick pick for skipper James Slipper to score, which was soon backed up by an O’Connor penalty for 14. -10 result line.

The visitors looked set to take the lead after O’Connor crossed after some clever interplay with Petaia, but referee Karl Dickson and the TMO ruled an earlier clearance by Slipper was illegal.

It proved to be a double whammy as Argentina center Jeronimo de la Fuente scored at the other end with Emiliano Boffelli adding the extra for a 21-10 lead.

Pumas again jumped on some box kick confusion from the visitors with flanker Juan Martin Gonzalez this time giving the ball to touch down.

The half-time margin could have been worse without a miracle try-saving tackle by Marika Koroibete.

The Wallabies were unable to settle into the second half due to errors and poor decisions as the hungry Pumas marched on. Gallo grabbed his second and then Boffelli crossed before a Tomas Albornoz effort after full-time ended a memorable game for the home side.

Shattered Wallabies captain James Slipper, deputizing for long-time leader Michael Hooper who flew home from the tour last week with “mindset” problems, cut a desolate figure at the end of the record defeat.

“Definitely disappointed,” Slipper said. “On the back of a good performance last week we wanted to back it up. Probably didn’t fall to standards today. They got the momentum and the crowd behind them and they’re a tough team to play catch-up football against. I think we’re looking forward to come home. It’s been a very tough ride for us.”

With Los Pumas’ stunning victory, and South Africa’s 23-35 defeat of New Zealand earlier in the day, all teams in the Rugby Championship now sit on one win each.

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