16 Sep 2012

Wallabies come from behind to beat Argentina

2:04 pm on 16 September 2012

The Australian coach Robbie Deans has stressed no one should devalue the Wallabies' nerve-wracking 23-19 escape act against improving rivals Argentina.

Los Pumas were poised for their maiden Rugby Championship win, and one of the best in their test history, when they led a rattled Australia 19-6 with 20 minutes left at the Gold Coast's Skilled Park.

The game came alive in the second half when Argentina scored twice in the space of three minutes.

The replacement flanker Tomas Leonardi crossed the line after he regathered the ball from his own chargedown, before the back rower Julio Farias Cabello completed a sweeping counter attack in the corner.

A defeat would have almost certainly ended the under-pressure Deans' hopes of keeping his job for next year's British and Irish Lions tour.

But the injury-plagued Wallabies rallied with a try to centre Pat McCabe before stand-in halfback Nick Phipps set up a Digby Ioane match-winner with 11 minutes to go.

It was the second week in a row the Wallabies have come back from a big deficit to win and Deans again praised the character of his young team.

He lauded rookie lock Kane Douglas for an "exceptional" test debut where he was highly involved in both attack and defence.

There was plenty of intent to attack, but as wide as they went the Pumas, advised by canny Kiwi Graham Henry, Australia seemed to have the answers in defence.

Both skipper Nathan Sharpe and Radike Samo got over the line in the first half but couldn't finish off due to brilliant cover tackles.