The race for the Tri Nations title has taken another dramatic turn again this weekend after Argentina rallied back from nine-points down to draw 15-all with the Wallabies in Newcastle.
All three teams now sit equal on six-competition points, with Argentina to play twice more while both the hosts and the All Blacks only have one more match to play.
Los Pumas went into Saturday’s test as the underdogs, even though they were coming off a dominant victory over the All Blacks the week before. Early on, this label seemed fair with the Wallabies appearing to be in complete control.
Australia had plenty of ball in the first half and threatened the Pumas try-line more than once. They had 63% of possession and had 75% of the territory, but still couldn’t make the visitors pay on the scoreboard, leading by just three points at the break.
Wallabies flyhalf Reece Hodge kicked his side out to a 15-6 lead early in the second half, but his opposite in Nicolas Sanchez responded with three penalties of his own to draw the two teams level. Both men scored all of their side’s points.
While neither team was able to land the knockout punch to claim victory, it’s still a famous result for the Pumas considering last weekend’s heroics and the challenges they’ve faced in the lead-up to his tournmanet.
Got to give it to the Puma’s it’s a pretty incredible story. #AUSvARG
— Rugby Report Card (@rugby_podcast) November 21, 2020
Great match. Even without the tries. Relentless defending from Pumas under siege. #AUSvARG
— Con – @ FBR (Rugby Pod) (@ConnonDaly) November 21, 2020
— Simon Cutler (@SCutlerIFA) November 21, 2020
Arguably the best moment from the night came after the match though, with Pumas captain Pablo Matera gifting a tearful, young fan his jersey.
This kid's reaction to meeting Pablo Matera and getting his jersey ? pic.twitter.com/F7emcbscTL
— Jared Wright (@jaredwright17) November 21, 2020
Fans on Twitter have been singing the praises of the Pumas captain, with one person saying that it was ‘rugby summed up in a gesture’ while another said that ‘dreams do come true.’
Things that we’ve learnt from International Rugby today.
Pablo Matera is the best captain in the World at the minuteADVERTISEMENT
— Steven Bletsoe (@StevenBletsoe) November 21, 2020
The people who play rugby never cease to make me proud to be a rugby fan.
— denis spillane (@SpillaneDenis) November 21, 2020
Rugby summed up in a gesture??????
— David Cookman (@davidiafrica) November 21, 2020
Couldn’t of said it better myself ??
— Moggy??? (@MoggyMarshman) November 21, 2020
Pablo is a terrifying rugby player and terrific role model for any boy or girl. Brilliant footage!
— Keiran King (@Keiran_King_) November 21, 2020
This the power of Rugby throughout the world class act @lospumas well done Pablo Matera and we cheered you on what a result
— #Mo (@celticlady98) November 21, 2020
And the smile on Pablo’s face says why Rugby is the best.
— Kent Knudsen (@KnudsenKookie07) November 21, 2020
Someones cutting onions at my house, as we watch this! This is why rugby is a great game, played by great ambassadors.
— Garry Gray (@GarryJGray) November 21, 2020
@lospumas Pablo Matera is a credit to your country.
— Nick D-M (@NickDM) November 21, 2020
Reminds me of Sonny Bill Williams with his cup winners medal
— lee james (@leejamsie) November 21, 2020
Love this ???
— simon swan (@swanlet) November 21, 2020
Dreams do come true
— Aidan Kearney (@AidanKearney14) November 21, 2020
So who is your favourite rugby player and why is it Matera ??
— James (@JamesEgan88) November 21, 2020
I’d be just the same a 61 year old English fan?
— mark osborne (@saintsman159) November 21, 2020
That’s what sport is all about ?? that boy will treasure that shirt ??????
— James Egan (@jmegan1985) November 21, 2020
But that moment, and what the result means for the Tri Nations, has somewhat been overshadowed by cries of foul play by the Pumas.
Matera was also at the centre of this, pulling Wallaby hooker Brandon Paenga-Amosa to the ground by his hair during the test.
The Pumas were warned throughout the test for repeated infringements, which saw Wallabies captain Michael Hooper become increasingly frustrated. Hooker Julian Montoya was yellow-carded early in the second-half for not releasing when the Wallabies were deep inside their attacking 22.
— Niamh Briggs (@niamhbriggs15) November 21, 2020
How’s that for a lack of respect. Pumas skipper Matera pulled Wallabies hooker Paenga-Amosa down by his dreads. Interesting to see if that’s cited. #AUSvARG
— Marc Hinton (@marchintonffx) November 21, 2020
Awful game… a lot of foul play, mostly from the Pumas. They don’t need this to win/tie or contest against the other top nations.
— Francisco Isaac (@francisaac87) November 21, 2020
Yellow card for Julian Montoya which is long overdue for Argentina. #ARGvAUS
— Ross Barnett (@rbarnett08) November 21, 2020
Lack of authority from the ref… Montoya holding the ball for 10 mins on the ground and that’s not even a yellow ? #ARGvAUS last of the last of the last warning ?
— jayricane (@jayricane) November 21, 2020
The Pumas face the All Blacks in Newcastle this Saturday, while the Wallabies are on a bye.
If the All Blacks win with a bonus point this weekend then they would’ve all but secured the Tri Nations title, even though mathematically, the Pumas or the Wallabies could still claim it.
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now