LONDON, Oct 8 (Reuters) - Centre Samu Kerevi scored two tries as Australia beat Argentina 33-21 at Twickenham on Saturday to snatch the runners-up spot in the Rugby Championship.
The Wallabies finished above South Africa after champions New Zealand’s 57-15 victory over the Springboks in Durban with Argentina taking the wooden spoon.
Australia made the most of less possession than Argentina, scoring two interception tries through forwards Adam Coleman and Dean Mumm with centre Bernard Foley kicking 13 points.
Argentina scored tries through lock Matias Alemanno and centre Jeronimo de la Fuente and flyhalf Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias kicked 11 points after a shaky start in which he missed his first three efforts at the posts.
The Pumas looked to have scored a try in the opening minute when Will Genia’s kick was charged down but it was ruled out for offside.
So it was Australia who drew first blood when Coleman went over from a ruck after Dane Haylett-Petty’s attack down the right wing.
Foley put the Wallabies 10 points ahead with a penalty but soon after they were down a man when flanker Michael Hooper was sin-binned in the 17th minute for a high tackle.
The Pumas made the most of the extra man and Alemanno scored from a driving maul after a lineout.
However, Gonzalez Iglesias, making his first championship start at flyhalf in place of the injured Nicolas Sanchez, failed with his conversion attempt.
Australia, making light of the yellow card shown to Coleman in the 31st minute, added a second try through Kerevi before Gonzalez Iglesias’s first successful kick gave the Wallabies a 18-8 lead at halftime.
Argentina reduced the arrears with a second try five minutes into the second half, de la Fuente going over from a tapped penalty.
Gonzalez Iglesias converted to bring the Pumas within three points but a poor offload was jumped on by Hooper and his pass sent Kerevi away for his second try.
Two successful Gonzalez Iglesias penalties then brought Argentina back within four points before another Foley penalty and Mumm’s interception try secured the win for Australia. (Editing by Pritha Sarkar)