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Kerevi powers Wallabies' win over Pumas

By AAP
Samu Kerevi of the Wallabies is tackled (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)

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Australia have notched three-straight wins for the first time since 2017, beating a plucky Argentina 27-8 as James O’Connor made a successful Test return in Townsville.

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Samu Kerevi’s powerful running set the scene for the Wallabies, the centre setting up and scoring a try to create a 17-3 halftime buffer.

Australia lost their rhythm though and the Pumas fired up, three missed kicks costing them as they otherwise won the early exchanges of the second half.

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But O’Connor’s arrival after 56 minutes – his first game since May because of neck and groin injuries – alongside halfback Tate McDermott seemed to refocus the Wallabies.

Replacing Quade Cooper at five-eighth after another understated performance, O’Connor kicked a settling penalty then laid on a try for in-form winger Andrew Kellaway to seal the result.

The victory followed back-to-back Rugby Championship wins over South Africa, Dave Rennie’s side to play Argentina on the Gold Coast next Saturday be fore departing for a tour of Japan and Europe.

Not since winning four straight in 2017 have they enjoyed such a charmed run.

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Kerevi’s line-busting form alongside emerging No.13 Len Ikitau was a highlight, as was Kellaway’s form on the wing and Reece Hodge’s effort at fullback.

Hodge dummied and strongly skipped through two tackles for the game’s first try, kicking and running strongly in general play as he made his case for the No.15 after Tom Banks’ broken arm last week.

The 23,184-strong crowd, which had earlier watched the All Blacks sneak past South Africa, enjoyed another strong shift from prop Taniela Tupou.

His replacement Tom Robertson, as well as lock Darcy Swain, also made an impact to arrest any Argentina momentum in the final quarter of the clash.

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Skipper Julian Montoya scored for Argentina off the back of a maul to open the second half but a yellow card to Marcos Kremer for tripping Hodge hurt their hopes just before O’Connor’s arriva l.

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Kerevi powers Wallabies' win over Pumas

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