It happened again. For the third time this Rugby Championship, the Wallabies have suffered the uncomfortable anguish of a draw after a nail-biting finish against Argentina on Saturday night.
The Wallabies dramatically drew level with less than 10 minutes to play – and had a chance to win it off the boot of Reece Hodge in the final minute.
The fullback, who admitted to having demons after hitting the post in the Wallabies’ dramatic Bledisloe Cup draw against the All Blacks, must have seen the ghosts all over again as he sprayed a tough penalty kick from almost 50m out in a golden chance to have won the game.
Instead, his kick with just 30 seconds left saw the Wallabies held to a 16-16 draw – after also drawing with Argentina just two weeks ago.
Hodge and his superboot have been the sad symbol of the Wallabies’ frustrating Rugby Championship campaign which ended with three draws from six games, including the four Bledisloe Cup Tests with the All Blacks.
Despite the signs of promise, the Wallabies ultimately finished last in the Rugby Championship.
After hitting the post against the All Blacks after the final siren in New Zealand, Hodge also had the chance to win the game for the Wallabies when they drew with Argentina in Newcastle two weeks ago.
Hodge has been a standout for the Wallabies this campaign, but his nightmare goalkicking at the death is now a gorilla on his back.
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) December 5, 2020
Hodge said after the first draw with the Pumas he felt like he had “let Australia down”.
He was hurting even more on Saturday night.
“You can’t blame him. You can see he is laughing, frustrated and crying at the same time,” Wallabies legend Matt Burke told Channel 10.
Wallabies legend George Gregan insisted Hodge didn’t lose the contest for the Wallabies.
“He’s obviously heart broken,” Gregan told Fox Sports.
“It’s like the curse you see at the golf tee sometimes…. He’ll get back on the horse. That’s what champions do – and he’s a wonderful player.”
Veteran rugby commentator Gordon Bray said Hodge looked “shattered”.
Bray described the freak anomaly of the Wallabies enduring three draws in six games as “absolutely astonishing”.
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