Rugby Championship: Australia defeat Argentina by one point in Perth test
Last Updated: 14/09/13 4:48pm
Australia secured their first win under head coach Ewen McKenzie with a hard-fought 14-13 victory over Argentina on a rain-sodden night at Perth's Subiaco Oval.
The Wallabies came into the contest having suffered back-to-back losses to the All Blacks before taking a 38-12 hammering at the hands of South Africa in Brisbane last time out.
The sides scored one try apiece with Juan Leguizamon cancelling out Israel Folau's first-half effort, but the boot of Christian Lealiifano ensured the points went the way of the hosts.
Two penalties from Lealiifano put Australia ahead after Nicolas Sanchez's early score for the visitors.
Impressive full-back Folau then broke through the visitors defensive line to bag his fourth Test try for his country just before the half hour mark.
Lealiifano added a further three points on the half-time hooter to extend the hosts' lead to 14-3.
Argentina coach Santiago Phelan saw his side dominate from the restart and they reduced the deficit to eight points halfway through the second-half thanks to the boot of fly-half Sanchez.
And they made it a one-point game when veteran centre Felipe Contepomi broke through a couple of weak challenges before offloading the ball to Leguizamon, who crashed over the whitewash to hand the Pumas real hope of causing a major upset.
However, it was Australia who should have extended their lead from the boot of Lealiifano, but he missed two opportunities, albeit from difficult angles.
It was the first time the Wallabies failed to score in the second 40 minutes of a game since 2005, but they held to end a four-game losing streak.