A hat-trick from Andrew Kellaway puts him within reach of Wallabies history after Argentina’s 32-17 defeat gave them four consecutive victories in the Rugby Championship Test.
Samu Kerevi’s ankle injury was the only concern at the Gold Coast on Saturday, with the form center limping after 50 minutes when Australia played with the scoreless Pumas, who scored two late attempts to mitigate the damage.
Winger Kellaway, who was moved to fullback after the departure of fellow try-scorer Kerevi, was back in the thick of it.
The 25-year-old finished a neat set of play out of a lineout in the first half and then progressed to two more in the second half, once again proving a level playing field in defense and in open spaces with possession.
Kellaway, a junior prodigy from Sydney who returned from an overseas spell with the Melbourne Rebels late last season, now has eight tries in a debut year with six starts and two caps off the bench against France.
With four Tests to play, he has a chance to break Israel Folau’s Wallabies record of 10 tries in a debut year.
Argentina were not the strength of last season as they drew twice with Australia and wrapped up a scoreless rugby championship with six players who did not qualify after a midweek trip across the border kept them out of Queensland.
Australia could smell blood, but it wasn’t until Kerevi left that they took their toll.
With Reece Hodge moved to replace Kerevi in the centers, Kellaway shifted to fullback and stormed over as the Wallabies returned a shallow Pumas exit kick.
He then accepted a slick backhand move from Len Ikitau to freeze the pie.
Folau Fainga’a scored the first try of the game and found room behind a lineout to sneak over after Thomas Lavanini was shown a yellow card for repeated penalties.
The whore’s soft hands took Valetini through a gap that led to Kellaway’s first, Australia, finally running after a messy first 30 minutes.
All Blacks vs Springboks