Samu Kerevi at the double as Australia tame Argentina to finish 2nd in Rugby Championship

Australia's Samu Kerevi (centre) runs in to score his second try against Argentina.
Australia's Samu Kerevi (centre) runs in to score his second try against Argentina. PHOTO: AFP

TWICKENHAM (AFP) - Samu Kerevi scored two tries as Australia beat a slipshod Argentina 33-21 at Twickenham on Saturday to finish runners-up in the Rugby Championship.

Defeat meant Argentina were left bottom of the table.

This was the first Rugby Championship match played in the Northern Hemisphere and took place just over a year from Australia's 29-15 World Cup-semi-final win over Argentina at Twickenham.

Success meant the Wallabies tasted victory for just the third time in nine Tests since their World Cup final defeat by runaway Rugby Championship winners New Zealand.

Australia outscored the Pumas four tries to two, with forwards Adam Coleman and Dean Mumm also crossing. Wallaby centre Bernard Foley kicked 13 points.

By contrast, Argentina were left ruing three missed first-half goal-kicks from Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias.

The Wallabies were twice reduced to 14 men in the first half as Michael Hooper and Coleman were both given yellow cards for high tackles.

Yet they still turned round 18-8 in front.

But early in the second half, Argentina centre Jeronimo de la Fuente's converted try cut their lead to 18-15 only for centre Kerevi to score his second minutes later.

Gonzalez Iglesias' penalty reduced Australia's lead to just 25-21 with 10 minutes left but that was as close as they got, with a Foley penalty and Mumm's late try extending Australia's advantage.

Australia were fortunate not to concede a second-minute try when scrum-half Will Genia's clearance kick was charged down by Pumas No. 8 Leonardo Senatore.

Gonzalez Iglesias recovered the loose ball and went over but as the fly-half had been in front of Senatore his 'try' was ruled out for offside by the video referee.

A far more controversial call by English replay official Rowan Kitt in the sixth minute helped Australia take the lead.

Dane Haylett-Perry burst down the right and sent in second row Coleman.

French referee Mathieu Raynal called for replay assistance to determine if Haylett-Petty had lost possession in the tackle.

Despite pictures appearing to show wing Haylett-Petty had knocked the ball on, Kitt confirmed the try.

Foley's conversion and subsequent penalty gave Australia a 10-0 lead.

Gonzalez Iglesias then pulled a kickable penalty to the left of the posts.

Australia were a man down when flanker Hooper was set to the sin bin in the 17th minute for a high tackle on de la Fuente.

Argentina capitalised with a strong drive only for lock Matias Alemanno to lose control as he tried to ground the ball for a try.

But minutes later the second row did score following a drive from a close-range line-out.

Gonzalez Iglesias again missed the kick at goal.

Foley made no mistake with his second successful penalty and then, from a central position 40 metres out, Gonzalez Iglesias was off target once more.

Hooper had not long returned when Australia were again a man down, with Coleman penalised for catching scrum-half Martin Landajo round the neck.

Yet it was Australia who scored next with a try a minute before half-time.

Argentina captain Agustin Creevy's poor line-out throw gave Australia possession on the Pumas' 22 and quick hands saw the ball worked right and then back left again before Kerevi, holding off Senatore, went over.

Foley missed the awkward conversion and there was still time for Gonzalez Iglesias, on target with his fourth attempt, to cut Australia's interval lead to 10 points.

The Pumas were back in the match in the 45th minute when a charging run by lock Pablo Matera set up a quick tap penalty from which de la Fuente, twisting through several would-be tackles went over for a fine try.

Gonzalez Iglesias converted and Australia's lead was down to three points.

But, in an open match, Argentina were themselves caught cold minutes later when centre Kerevi intercepted lock Gudo Petti's loose pass for a converted try.

Gonzalez Iglesias' penalty took Argentina to within seven points and they ought to have equalised when Creevy charged forward only to knock on in sight of the posts.

Gonzalez Iglesias after a clash between Wallaby replacement Nick Phipps and the Argentrina physio,and Foley exchanged penalties.

Mumm, again making the most of an Argentina mistake, then picked off Landajo's pass for a 77th-minute try.