Australia to meet New Zealand in historic World Cup clash
AUSTRALIA will meet the New Zealand in the rugby World Cup final in the 100th Anniversary of the ANZAC's after maintaining their remarkable UK record over a gallant Argentina in front of a packed Twickenham Stadium.
The All Blacks booked their place in next Saturday's Twickenham final 24 hours early with a tough 20-18 win over an aggressive South Africa.
A hat-trick of tries to man-of-the-match, winger Adam Ashley-Cooper, the third in the 71st minute, after opposite winger Drew Mitchell beat eighth Puma defenders catapulted the Wallabies into the final with a 29-15 over a gallant but outclassed Argentina.
"Defence was a huge focus tonight," said Ashley-Cooper who heaped praise on his team-mates
"I've been playing the game a long time and all I've wanted to was win a World Cup final and now I am in one," said the 100-capped Test veteran.
Australia deserved to advance to the final scoring four tries to nil in their fourth win at Twickenham in four weeks.
"Geez that was a tough game," said Wallaby skipper Stephen Moore.
"We know the task next week is going to be huge."
The Pumas never quite recovered from a horror opening to the clash when Wallaby No.5 Rob Simmons grabbed a one-handed intercept off Argentinian fly-half from Nicolas Sanchez to run 30 minutes and score under the post with semi-final barely one minute old.
The Wallabies turned a 7-3 lead into a 14-3 in the 10th minute when winger Adam Ashley Cooper finished off a slick right side shift with a brilliant Bernard Foley long ball, diving over in the corner for Australia second try.
The deadly boot of 27 year-old No.10 Sanchez -- who was as accurate as the Argentinian legend Diego Maradona who was cheering from the Twickenham stands, kept the Pumas in the contest with three first half penalty goals.
Argentina had to dig deep after being reduced to 14 men midway through the opening half when Tomas Lavanini was given a yellow for chopping Wallaby fullback Israel Folau's legs out from under him in a questionable decision.
Things got even worse for the Pumas soon after when they lost their inspirational captain Augustin Creevy to injury.
It all proved too much for the Pumas as Australia caught Argentina short on the left side with Matt Giteau toss a three-man cut out pass to an unmarked Ashley Cooper for his second try for a 19-6 lead after 30 minutes.
Some desperate defence first by Will Genia and then Bernard Foley denied Argentina a try a minute out from half time allowing the Wallabies to take the break 19-9 up.
David Pocock's work again at the break down was a highlight of the first half after he was only cleared to play hours before the big game.
Australia missed a chance to edge further ahead just after half time when Foley pushed a penalty goal just wide of the posts.
The Pumas continued to dominate the scrum with Sanchez slotting his fourth straight penalty five minutes into the second half to cut the deficit to 19-12.
However the reply was swift Foley making amends with a 41 metre penalty (22-12) as Kurtly Beale joined the action replacing centre Giteau.
Sanchez landed his fifth straight penalty of the game as the Pumas refused to go away bridging the gap to 22-15 with 25 minutes left.
Wallaby coach Michael Cheika replaced his front-row and then lost Falou whose ankle was not 100 percent and must be in some doubt for next week's final.
It was Australia's fourth straight win at Twickenham and their 15th in a row in the UK.
Wallaby coach Michael Cheika said he was very happy with Australia's defence which kept the flamboyant Pumas tryless for the game.
"I think we can improve again. We've given ourselves an opportunity to play against the All Black and we have to figure out a way now to beat a mighty team.