Tri-Nations: Australia and Argentina draw again, New Zealand confirmed as champions
Australia had chance to win match in last minute but Reece Hodge penalty was wide; result confirms New Zealand as Tri-Nations champions; Wallabies make history singing anthem in indigenous language for first time
By Sky Sports Rugby Union
Last Updated: 05/12/20 11:56am
A missed last-minute penalty from Reece Hodge saw Australia and Argentina draw 16-16 in the final Tri-Nations match on Saturday.
The Wallabies trailed 13-6 at half time and were reduced to 14 men when Lukhan Salakaia-Loto was dismissed for contact to the head of an opponent, but a converted try from skipper Michael Hooper helped the hosts draw level.
Despite being a man down, the hosts had a chance to snatch victory in Sydney, but Hodge's penalty from 45 metres out was wide and it meant the sides drew for the second time in this series after a 15-15 draw in Newcastle last month.
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The result confirmed New Zealand as Tri-Nations champions, as well as seeing Argentina finish second on points difference from Australia.
The Wallabies made history before the match as they became the first Australian sports team to sing the national anthem in an indigenous language.
Olivia Fox led the players in singing Advance Australia Fair in Eora - an Australian Aboriginal language of the Yuin-Kuric group that was traditionally spoken in the region of Sydney, New South Wales.
For Argentina, their rollercoaster ride of a tournament hit a low this week when historical racist social media posts were unearthed, costing the Pumas the services of their inspirational captain Pablo Matera, Guido Petti and Santiago Socino for the match.
They appeared to have brushed aside the tumultuous events of the week, however, and looked on course to round out their campaign with a victory when a try from Bautista Delguy put them in control.
Hodge kept Australia in the hunt from the kicking tee but lock Salakaia-Loto looked to have stopped Australia's comeback in its tracks when he smashed into the jaw of Santiago Grondona at a ruck and was dismissed by referee Angus Gardner.
A Dominic Miotti penalty extended Argentina's lead to seven points soon afterwards, but numerical parity was restored when Lucas Paulos was shown a yellow card for collapsing a maul.
Australia immediately rolled another maul across the line with Hooper awarded the try to level up the scores in the 67th minute.
Another 12 minutes of attritional rugby played out on a rain-soaked pitch at Bankwest Stadium had passed before a penalty was awarded to the home side and all eyes turned to Hodge.
The versatile back had watched a potential match-winner come back off the post in Australia's first test of the season, a 16-16 draw with the All Blacks in Wellington.
He was to have no more luck against the Pumas in Newcastle two weeks ago from 40 metres and a shorter kick from a worse angle again proved beyond him this time around.
Australia ended up with three draws, one win and two losses in six tests this season, while the Pumas finished their remarkable tournament with their first win over the All Blacks, a loss to the New Zealanders last week and the two draws