The Qantas Wallabies have played out a dramatic 15-all draw with Argentina at McDonald Jones Stadium in Newcastle in Round Four of the eToro Tri Nations.
The result leaves Argentina in the box seat with two games left to play in the tournament while the Wallabies and All Blacks have just one match remaining.
It was a tight opening half with the Wallabies dominating field position and possession but failing to capitlise after two tries were disallowed by the Television Match Official.
Reece Hodge opened the scoring, but Nicolas Sanchez struck right back for Argentina to level it up at 3-all before an acrobatic try attempt from Jordan Petaia was disallowed after 16 minutes. Petaia regathered a smart grubber behind from centre partner Hunter Paisami but his foot just grazed the dead ball line in the act of planting the ball.
Some poor Australian discipline then allowed Argentina to take a 6-3 lead thanks to Sanchez, despite the Pumas struggling to get out of their own half for much of the opening period. This time Hodge was the man with the instant reply though, after he nudged through his second penalty of the night.
The Wallabies re-took the lead well after the half-time siren sounded with Hodge stepping up for his third penalty kick of the night for a 9-6 lead at the break.
Australia extended their lead in the second half as Hodge nudged two more penalties for a 15-6 buffer with 20 minutes left to play.
Argentina’s spirited fightback then began in earnest as Sanchez marched his team around the park and slowly chipped away at Australia’s lead before leveling the scores at the 70-minute mark.
A long-range attempt from Hodge couldn’t seal it for Australia with both teams having to settle for a share of the spoils.
Australia now enjoy a week off before their final game of 2020 against Argentina at Bankwest Stadium on Saturday 5 December.
Argentina remain in Newcastle with Los Pumas to take on the All Blacks at McDonald Jones Stadium next Saturday 28 November.
Tickets are on sale for the 2020 eToro Tri Nations. Visit TriNations2020.com.au for more information.
Argentina 15 (Sanchez 5 pens) Qantas Wallabies 15 (Hodge 5 pens)
1. Scott Sio, 2. Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 3. Taniela Tupou, 4. Rob Simmons, 5. Matt Philip, 6. Ned Hanigan, 7. Michael Hooper (c), 8. Harry Wilson, 9. Nic White, 10. Reece Hodge, 11. Marika Koroibete, 12. Hunter Paisami, 13. Jordan Petaia, 14. Tom Wright, 15. Tom Banks
Reserves: 16. Folau Fainga’a, 17. Angus Bell, 18. Allan Alaalatoa, 19. Rob Valetini, 20. Liam Wright, 21. Jake Gordon, 22. Noah Lolesio, 23. Filipo Daugunu
40 mins – Alaalatoa for Tupou, 53 mins – Fainga’a for Paenga-Amosa, 63 mins – Valetini for Wilson, 63 mins – Bell for Sio, 64 mins – Daugunu for Wright, 67 mins – Wright for Simmons, 67 mins – Gordon for White
1. Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 2. Julian Montoya, 3. Francisco Gomez Kodela, 4. Guido Petti, 5. Matias Alemanni, 6. Pablo Matera (c), 7. Marcos Kremer, 8. Rodrigo Bruni, 9. Gonzalo Bertranou, 10. Nicolas Sanchez, 11. Juan Imhoff, 12. Santiago Chocobares, 13. Matias Orlando, 14. Bautista Delguy, 15. Santiago Carreras
Reserves: 16. Santiago Socino, 17. Mayco Vivas, 18. Santiago Medrano, 19. Santiago Grondona, 20. Facundo Isa, 21. Felipe Ezcurra, 22. Emiliano Boffelli, 23. Santiago Cordero