|Australia: (6) 16|
|Try: Hooper Pens: Hodge 3 Con: Hodge|
|Red card: Salakaia-Loto|
|Argentina: (13) 16|
|Try: Delguy Pens: Sanchez, Miotti 2 Con: Miotti|
Australia missed a last-minute penalty as they drew 16-16 with Argentina in the final game of the 2020 Tri-Nations.
A penalty and skipper Michael Hooper’s converted try hauled Australia level but Reece Hodge’s penalty went wide.
The result means, as expected, New Zealand are the Tri-Nations champions.
Argentina, who beat the All Blacks earlier in the tournament and drew 15-15 with Australia two weeks ago, finish second in the table, while the Wallabies are third.
Australia had it all to do in the second half of a match that was played in torrential rain in front of a socially distanced crowd of just over 10,000 in Parramatta.
They had replacement lock Lukhan Salakaia-Loto sent off for a dangerous tackle in the 60th minute but when Argentina’s Lucas Paulos was sent to the sin-bin, the Wallabies took advantage to drive Hooper over from the back of a maul for his 20th Test try.
The Wallabies piled on the pressure in the closing stages but as he did in the 15-15 draw, Hodge missed a late chance to secure victory for his side, pushing his kick from 45m to the right of the posts.
The full-back also had a potential match-winning kick come back off the post in Australia’s 16-16 draw with the All Blacks in Wellington.
“Argentina are a tough cookie to crack,” said Hooper. “We’re not happy with that performance. We’re disappointed we can’t get a win in our last game.”
Delguy try lights up first half
Argentina were under intense scrutiny before the match for the way they handled the scandal surrounding Matera and team-mates Guido Petti and Santiago Socino.
On the pitch, they fell behind to a Hodge penalty after lock Marcos Kremer was sent to the sin-bin for a dangerous tackle at a ruck.
Nicolas Sanchez, who kicked all of Argentina’s points in the 15-15 draw, hammered over a penalty from around halfway to draw the Pumas level.
Australia skipper Hooper was also shown a yellow card for a high tackle and Argentina responded with 10 points in those 10 minutes.
Domingo Miotti – with Sanchez off the field for a concussion check – slotted Argentina into the lead.
Then from a line-out deep in their own half, Argentina drove back the Wallabies’ pack some 40 metres before scrum-half Felipe Ezcurra broke away. He flipped the ball to Delguy, who handed off a desperate tackle to race over the line and put his side into a 13-3 lead.
Miotti also kicked a penalty in the second half as Argentina eyed a season-ending victory, but Australia did just enough to earn the draw.
Australia: Hodge; Wright, Petaia, Paisami, Koroibete; O’Connor, White; Sio, Paenga-Amosa, Alaalatoa, Simmons, Philip, Hanigan, Hooper (capt), Wilson
Replacements: Fainga’a, Bell, Tupou, Salakaia-Loto, Valetini, Gordon, Simone, Banks
Argentina: Carreras; Delguy, Orlando, De la Fuente (capt), Boffelli; Sanchez, Ezcurra; Chaparro, Montoya, Kodela, Alemanno, Kremer, Grondona, Isa, Bruni
Replacements: Gonzalez, Vivas, Zeiss, Paulos, Gorrissen, Bertranou, Miotti, Chocobares
Referee: Ben O’Keeffe (NZ)
— to www.bbc.co.uk