The Rugby Championship: Australia finish with 54-17 win over Argentina
Last Updated: 06/10/13 8:35am
A hat-trick of tries from Israel Folau helped ensure Australia ended their Rugby Championship campaign with a victory as they beat Argentina 54-17 in Rosario.
Both sides were playing for pride, with New Zealand having already retained their crown earlier in the day by beating South Africa.
Folau scored his opener after just four minutes as he built on the good work done by Will Genia and Quade Cooper.
Christian Lealiifano added the extras and he soon slotted over a penalty before Nicolas Sanchez replied in kind for the Pumas.
The Wallabies were not affected by James Slipper being sent to the sin-bin but the hosts did not cope as well when Pablo Matera was yellow carded as they conceded two more tries.
First, scrum-half Genia played in Adam Ashley-Cooper to cross six minutes before the break and Australia added another just a minute later, Folau touching down to cap a jinking run.
But Argentina were not dispirited and went over for a try before the interval, with Marcelo Bosch taking advantage of some lax defending to go over, with Sanchez adding the conversion.
Folau secured his hat-trick two minutes into the second period when he nipped over from close range before the Pumas again hit back, Martin Landajo getting on the scoresheet.
That was as good as it got for them, though, as Cooper kicked a penalty to get Australia firing again before they ran in three further tries.
Joseph Tomane latched onto a loose pass from Juan Imhoff to race in 50m to score, with Benn Robinson then crashing over before Bernard Foley scored his first points in international rugby when he converted.
Foley followed that up with the final try of the game, running in from distance to punish a mistake from Argentina.