Rugby World Cup 2019: Wallabies secure crucial win over Argentina ahead of All Blacks showdown

The Wallabies have scrummaged their way to a 16-10 Rugby Championship victory over Argentina, with halfback Will Genia calling the shots in his Brisbane Test farewell.

The Japan-bound Queensland favourite handed Australia just their fifth win from the past 17 tests and was cheered off after his 60-minute stint at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday.

Argentina replied to Reece Hodge's first-half try with six minutes to play to make it a six-point game, but the hosts controlled the ball from then on to eliminate any prospect of an agonising defeat.

Missed opportunities would have frustrated coach Michael Cheika again, but an improved defence and dominant set-piece were both promising signs just three tests out from September's World Cup. 

The Wallabies had their line crossed five times in South Africa last weekend, but an improved defensive effort held the Pumas at bay until Facundo Isa scored after an 11-strong lineout drive. 

In another encouraging sign, five-eighth Christian Lealiifano was solid over his 51-minute contribution after starting in place of Bernard Foley while props James Slipper and Taniela Tupou both dominated after coming off the bench for Scott Sio and Sekope Kepu.

However, James O'Connor barely got a touch in his first test action since 2013 after he came on for centre Tevita Kuridrani with 10 minutes remaining.  

Early on, Australia's tardiness at the breakdown cost them twice when they were within striking distance, while frequent dropped ball also undermined their attack for a second straight weekend.  

Yet, Argentina's ball security was no better, with the visitors blowing a try-scoringg chance in the 26th minute.

Both sides blamed an over-eager attack for their fumbles, while Wallabies coach Michael Cheika was "pleased, but wanted to be more pleased" by the side's set-piece.

"I think we earnt it, worked hard," he said.

"The real blemishes might've been our handling ... we created a heap, we built the game, and when we didn't have the dominance, we found a way."

Departing Reds captain Samu Kerevi put on one last show at his favourite stadium, but was denied a try assist when Kuridrani shelled an offload.

Fortunately, Reece Hodge was more clinical when he had an opportunity to finish off a key attacking foray in the first half after fellow winger Marika Koroibete broke the line before the ball headed to the right flank.

Hodge wasn't helped by a floated pass from Kurtley Beale, but he coolly collected the transfer and stepped inside a defender before diving over.  

The relief was palpable among a crowd of 31,599 who then enjoyed the Wallabies securing a spate of scrum penalties, to Pumas coach Mario Ledesma's surprise.

"It's almost weird ... we're pretty clinical in lineouts, and scrum was good last week," he said.  

"Opportunities were there ... and we lose the game by six points [but] my concern was much more the set-piece."


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