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'It's not just a game'

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'It's not just a game, it's personal' - an emotional Cheika tries to explain Australia's 24 point comeback

The Qantas Wallabies have completed the biggest comeback in their history to beat Argentina 45-34 at altitude in Salta last night, and going on Michael Cheika’s reaction at half-time, this win meant a lot.

Two tries to fullback Dane Haylett-Petty sealed the win, which sees Australia finish third in the Mitsubishi Estate Rugby Championship.

The Wallabies trailed by 24 points at the main break, with a try inside the opening two minutes by surging back rower Pablo Matera sparking a four-try first half blitz from the Pumas, who by the half time whistle had already registered their highest Test score against Australia.

Going into the dressing rooms at 31-7 down, the response from the men in gold was emphatic as they ran in five unanswered second half tries to run away with the most unlikely of victories.

Putting a frantic and panicked first half performance behind them, the turnaround kicked-started four minutes after the break when Michael Hooper’s chargedown close to the line gifted Izack Rodda his first Test try.

Israel Folau then chimed in on the act as he swerved through the middle and dotted down under the posts after the Wallabies had built 11 phases of attack. Another patient build-up three minutes later allowed Dane Haylett-Petty to cross for the first of his second half double.

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A powerful effort from David Pocock, who cleaned up a loose ball and carried three defenders over the line, set up the first lead of the match for the visitors, and they never looked back. Pocock was again involved in Haylett-Petty’s second, turning the ball back to the Wallabies fullback after he had batted a Bernard Foley cross-field kick back inside.

The second half comeback was the largest ever in a Rugby Championship Test, and meant that the Wallabies avoided finishing in last position in the 2018 tournament.

Haylett-Petty took man of the match honours, but it was the Wallabies leaders who stood up when it mattered most and sparked a remarkable fightback.

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'It's not just a game, it's personal' - an emotional Cheika tries to explain Australia's 24 point comeback