Heated debate ahoy
Clive Woodward, Lawrence Dallaglio and John Inverdale think the Ashley-Cooper try should have been chalked off or at very the least referred to the TMO. Their smiles suggest they think winding up Australians is their main motive and Michael Lynagh is having none of it. He says Mitchell beat eight men and some in the crowd, too.
Michael Cheika talks
"Initially we kept it structured which suited us, but I'm very pleased with the defence. Still gave away a bit too many penalties. Happy we scored four tries and we can improve again. We can improve again. Thanks to the fans, this stadium is getting a bit more gold by the week. I haven't thought about the final, that's genuine. We'll work out how to do it against a pretty dynamic team.
Argentina 15-29 Australia (Ashley-Cooper) A hat-trick for the wing but made by his oppo Drew Mitchell who, from a lineout won on halfway, went down the blindisde and jinked infield, making 30m and heading crossfield to the posts. He slips two tackles and then makes a horrible pass that was just about backwards when he was stopped and AAC pickedit up on the half-volley to finish from 10m. Foley slots the conversion.
Accidental offside when Folau kicks a grubber up the middle and hits his own man. Argentina scrum which Australia compete well, the best they have this half, but Argentina work it out down the left until Amorosino breaks and makes 20m with a glorious, chopping run. He offloads and then at the breakdown an Argentina foot knocks it straight to a Wallaby. Turnover ball.
Argentina 3-14 Australia (Ashley-Cooper) What a start to this game - Australia win a scrum 25m out, their front row holding up well then, when the ball came out, Foley spun a terrific pass through midfield, Argentina's defence was far too tightly packed, Imhoff went too soon and Ashley-Cooper had a 15m sprint to put the ball down by the right touchline. Foley calmly converts.
Argentina 0-7 Australia (Simmons) Ridiculous from Argentina, 20 seconds after a misplaced pass almost let Drew Mitchell in to break for the line, he failed to hang on and intercept the high pass but then Sanchez spotted the blitz defence coming, took the risk of trying to make a break and threw it straight to Simmons who ran in from 20 metres. Foley converted from under the posts.
Today's most influential Argentinian?
Gavin Mairs writes:
Michael Hooper can still remember the first scrummaging session taken by Mario Ledesma. The former Argentina hooker had been hired by Australia coach Michael Cheika to sort out their set-piece problems following a harrowing defeat by England last November and he made an immediate impression.
Ledesma, who won 84 caps for Los Pumas decided he needed a closer look at the positioning and binds of the front row forwards. So the 42-year-old dropped to the ground and pushed himself into the tunnel underneath the scrum.
“I had no idea what he was doing, I just push on the side, ” said Hooper, Australia’s openside. “He was crawling through the middle and I was just thinking, ‘what is this guy doing?’ That was one of the first days in. I thought it was going to collapse, but the boys managed to keep it up.”
Ledesma left the Australia forwards in no doubt about his commitment. “He was just there looking at where the guys’ shoulders are and necks, heads and different angles, ” recalled captain Stephen Moore. “He said he can pick up a lot from that view.”
Hooper believes that Ledesma, who has helped the Australian scrum dominate England and edge Wales, will have no conflict of loyalties in Sunday's game. “He is an inspirational guy and completely motivated in seeing us do well and seeing us improve each week. Mario has been a great part of this team and he has got that other side where he can joke around and roll in the middle of the scrum.
“All Argentinians are pretty emotional I think. He’s completely adopted our team. When he gives so much, you get emotionally attached to it and he’s no different. He’s brought a lot of that passion that probably sometimes Australians don’t have.”
Gus Pichot is talking of his admiration for Che Guevara. It's general election day in Argentina, too and the bars are closed.
Incidentally it took 26 minutes for the subject of England to be raised and it wasn't John Inverdale, but Sir Clive Woodward.
Final preparations..#ARGvAUS #StrongerAsOne— Wallabies (@Wallabies)
Cheika on Folau and Pocock
The Australia coach has been talking about why recalling his full-back and No8 is not a risk:
“We always knew that [Pocock’s] injury would be around the seven-day, eight-day mark for return to play. He's very strong mentally, that lad, so it would have been very difficult to stop him even if he wasn’t fit. We feel more than comfortable with the fact he’s fit enough to do his job and do it very well.”
On Folau: “I would guess that a player of his calibre is only going to enjoy these matches and do really well in these finals matches. “I think he’s just been wanting to play footy, I think the frustrating part was not being able to play last week.”