Australia 36-20 Argentina: Early blitz hands Wallabies the win as All Blacks win title
Last Updated: 17/09/16 2:49pm
Three tries in the first 12 minutes gave Australia a 36-20 win over Argentina to hand New Zealand the Rugby Championship title.
Samu Kerevi, Dane Haylett-Petty and Will Genia all crossed in the opening quarter to hand their side a 21-0 lead early on.
Yellow cards to Scott Sio and Quade Cooper threatened to allow Argentina back into the game as Santiago Cordero and Facundo Isa dotted down for the visitors, but a second try from Genia and one from Michael Hooper handed the Wallabies their second win of the Championship.
The victory means the All Blacks have won the title with two games to spare.
Australia were off the mark in Perth with less than a minute on the clock. They moved the ball quickly down the backline after a break from Bernard Foley and Hooper released Kerevi for a charge to the line.
Their second try came off an attacking lineout seven minutes later, with Kerevi's decoy run creating a gap in the defensive line as Cooper put Haylett-Petty through it with an inside pass.
Turnover ball provided the third try with Genia pressuring Pumas fly-half Nicolas Sanchez into dropping the ball before hacking forward and racing some 30 metres to scoop it up and dive across the line.
The remaining 28 minutes of the half were mostly about defence for the Wallabies, who racked up 98 tackles to Argentina's 22 before the break.
Sanchez finally got the visitors on the scoreboard from the kicking tee after 23 minutes and 10 minutes later added his second penalty when Wallabies prop Sio was sent to the sin bin after repeated team infringements.
Winger Cordero cut the deficit to 21-13 four minutes after half-time when he ran around prop James Slipper to score a converted try in the corner.
After being restored to 15 men, Australia finally got some possession and Sean McMahon made the most of it when he burst through the Argentina pack towards the line.
The replacement loose forward was tackled just short of his goal but Genia dummied the pass from the base of the ruck and burrowed over for his second try.
Ten minutes later and Hooper crossed for Australia's fifth try after Cooper had again opened up the defence with an inside pass.
Australia were soon reduced to 14 men again though, when Cooper was sin-binned for tackling Sanchez without the ball and the Pumas finally got the rolling maul going to help Isa over the line four minutes later.
Foley had kicked four of five conversions for Australia but made way for winger Reece Hodge to ease local nerves with a late penalty.