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Australia through to Rugby World Cup final

Argentina 15 - 29 Australia

Published 25/10/2015

Adam Ashley-Cooper of Australia scores his sides second try during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Semi Final match between Argentina and Australia at Twickenham Stadium on October 25, 2015 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
Adam Ashley-Cooper of Australia scores his sides second try during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Semi Final match between Argentina and Australia at Twickenham Stadium on October 25, 2015 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
Australia's wing Adam Ashley-Cooper (L) celebrates with Australia's wing Drew Mitchell (C) after scoring his third and his team's fourth try during a semi-final match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup between Argentina and Australia at Twickenham Stadium, southwest London, on October 25, 2015. AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS
A bloodied Scott Fardy of Australia during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Semi Final match between Argentina and Australia at Twickenham Stadium on October 25, 2015 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
Argentina's fly half Nicolas Sanchez (R) looks at a scrum during a semi-final match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup between Argentina and Australia at Twickenham Stadium, southwest London, on October 25, 2015. AFP PHOTO / GLYN KIRK
General view of a lineout during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Semi Final match between Argentina and Australia at Twickenham Stadium on October 25, 2015 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
Nicolas Sanchez of Argentina kicks a penalty during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Semi Final match between Argentina and Australia at Twickenham Stadium on October 25, 2015 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
Argentina's back row forward Facundo Isa (L) passes the ball during a semi-final match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup between Argentina and Australia at Twickenham Stadium, southwest London, on October 25, 2015. AFP PHOTO / GLYN KIRK
Argentina's centre Juan Martin Hernandez (L) kicks the ball next to Australia's number 8 David Pocock during a semi-final match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup between Argentina and Australia at Twickenham Stadium, southwest London, on October 25, 2015. AFP PHOTO / ADRIAN DENNIS
Australia's flanker Scott Fardy (L) and Argentina's lock Guido Petti Pagadizabal (R) jump for he ball in a line out during a semi-final match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup between Argentina and Australia at Twickenham Stadium, southwest London, on October 25, 2015. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE
Australia's scrum half Will Genia passes the ball during a semi-final match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup between Argentina and Australia at Twickenham Stadium, southwest London, on October 25, 2015. AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS
Will Genia of Australia plays the ball during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Semi Final match between Argentina and Australia at Twickenham Stadium on October 25, 2015 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Referee Wayne Barnes during the Rugby World Cup, Semi Final at Twickenham Stadium, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION
Australia's Adam Ashley-Cooper scores his second try and his side's third during the Rugby World Cup, Semi Final at Twickenham Stadium, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION
Australia's fly half Bernard Foley places the ball to kick his team's third try conversion during a semi-final match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup between Argentina and Australia at Twickenham Stadium, southwest London, on October 25, 2015. AFP PHOTO / GLYN KIRK
Adam Ashley-Cooper of Australia dives over to score his sides third try during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Semi Final match between Argentina and Australia at Twickenham Stadium on October 25, 2015 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
Tomas Lavanini of Argentina shown a yellow card and sent to sin bin by referee Wayne Barnes of England during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Semi Final match between Argentina and Australia at Twickenham Stadium on October 25, 2015 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
Britain's Prince Harry (C) looks on prior to a semi-final match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup between Argentina and Australia at Twickenham Stadium, southwest London, on October 25, 2015. AFP PHOTO / MARTIN BUREAU
Australia's Adam Ashley-Cooper (left) celebrates scoring his side's second try with his team-mates during the Rugby World Cup, Semi Final at Twickenham Stadium, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION
Scott Fardy of Australia and Guido Petti Pagadizabal of Argentina compete for the ball in a lineout during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Semi Final match between Argentina and Australia at Twickenham Stadium on October 25, 2015 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Deigo Maradona in the stand prior to the 2015 Rugby World Cup Semi Final match between Argentina and Australia at Twickenham Stadium on October 25, 2015 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
Adam Ashley-Cooper of Australia celebrates with teammates after scoring his sides second try during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Semi Final match between Argentina and Australia at Twickenham Stadium on October 25, 2015 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
Adam Ashley-Cooper of Australia claims the high ball under pressure during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Semi Final match between Argentina and Australia at Twickenham Stadium on October 25, 2015 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Australia's wing Adam Ashley-Cooper (R) celebrates with teammates after scoring his team's second try during a semi-final match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup between Argentina and Australia at Twickenham Stadium, southwest London, on October 25, 2015. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE
Australia's wing Adam Ashley-Cooper (L) reacts after scoring his team's second try during a semi-final match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup between Argentina and Australia at Twickenham Stadium, southwest London, on October 25, 2015. AFP PHOTO / GLYN KIRK
Bernard Foley of Australia kicks a conversion during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Semi Final match between Argentina and Australia at Twickenham Stadium on October 25, 2015 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
Adam Ashley-Cooper of Australia goes over to score second first try during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Semi Final match between Argentina and Australia at Twickenham Stadium on October 25, 2015 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Rob Simmons of Australia scores the opening try during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Semi Final match between Argentina and Australia at Twickenham Stadium on October 25, 2015 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Marcelo Bosch of Argentina make a break during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Semi Final match between Argentina and Australia at Twickenham Stadium on October 25, 2015 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Australia's lock Rob Simmons (L) celebrates with Australia's fly half Bernard Foley after scoring the first try during a semi-final match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup between Argentina and Australia at Twickenham Stadium, southwest London, on October 25, 2015. AFP PHOTO / ADRIAN DENNIS
Rob Simmons (l) celebrates with Bernard Foley of Australia after scoring the opening try during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Semi Final match between Argentina and Australia at Twickenham Stadium on October 25, 2015 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Drew Mitchell of Australia juggles the ball during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Semi Final match between Argentina and Australia at Twickenham Stadium on October 25, 2015 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
Argentina's fly half Nicolas Sanchez warms up prior to a semi-final match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup between Argentina and Australia at Twickenham Stadium, southwest London, on October 25, 2015. AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS
Argentina Fan in the stands prior to the 2015 Rugby World Cup Semi Final match between Argentina and Australia at Twickenham Stadium on October 25, 2015 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Michael Cheika, Head Coach of Australia watches the team warm up prior to the 2015 Rugby World Cup Semi Final match between Argentina and Australia at Twickenham Stadium on October 25, 2015 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Stephen Moore of Australia during the pre match warm up prior to the 2015 Rugby World Cup Semi Final match between Argentina and Australia at Twickenham Stadium on October 25, 2015 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
Australia's Argentinian forwards coach Mario Ledesma (L) greets Argentina's flanker Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe prior to a semi-final match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup between Argentina and Australia at Twickenham Stadium, southwest London, on October 25, 2015. AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS
Australia's players huddle prior to a semi-final match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup between Argentina and Australia at Twickenham Stadium, southwest London, on October 25, 2015. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE
Argentina fans before the Rugby World Cup, Semi Final at Twickenham Stadium, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION
Argentina supporters pose prior to a semi-final match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup between Argentina and Australia at Twickenham Stadium, southwest London, on October 25, 2015. AFP PHOTO / GLYN KIRK
Daniel Hourcade, Head Coach of Argentina watches the team warm up prior to the 2015 Rugby World Cup Semi Final match between Argentina and Australia at Twickenham Stadium on October 25, 2015 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Argentina Fan is all smiles in the stands prior to the 2015 Rugby World Cup Semi Final match between Argentina and Australia at Twickenham Stadium on October 25, 2015 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
Australia Fans smile in the stands prior to the 2015 Rugby World Cup Semi Final match between Argentina and Australia at Twickenham Stadium on October 25, 2015 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Argentina Fans in stands prior to the 2015 Rugby World Cup Semi Final match between Argentina and Australia at Twickenham Stadium on October 25, 2015 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
An Argentina supporter gestures prior to a semi-final match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup between Argentina and Australia at Twickenham Stadium, southwest London, on October 25, 2015. AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS
An Argentina supporter looks on prior to a semi-final match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup between Argentina and Australia at Twickenham Stadium, southwest London, on October 25, 2015. AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS

Australia survived a rousing second-half fightback from Argentina to register a 29-15 victory at Twickenham that sets up a World Cup final against old foes New Zealand next Saturday.

Adam Ashley-Cooper's hat-trick and a touch down by Rob Simmons helped the Wallabies reach the sport's global showpiece for the first time since 2003, but their fans were subjected to some nerve-shredding moments.

Roared on by an animated Diego Maradona who was watching from the stands, Argentina pegged back a 19-9 half-time deficit through the boot of Nicolas Sanchez and from the 54th minute they trailed by only a converted try.

But as they pressed for the precious score they needed to make their final debut, they were caught on the counter with eight minutes remaining by an inspired mazy run from Drew Mitchell with man of the match Ashley-Cooper on hand to complete his hat-trick.

The Wallabies, who were lifted by the return of David Pocock and Israel Folau from injury, lost shape early in the final quarter as the Pumas threw everything they had at their Rugby Championship rivals.

Pocock was magnificent once again, enforcing Australian rule of the breakdown, although Argentina were often their own worst enemies as they needlessly coughed up the ball time and again.

And while the Pumas ran out of ideas at times, their opponents were ruthless when offered sight of the whitewash.

Twickenham willed Argentina on and had they not made such a disastrous start in which they appeared determined to self-destruct, it could have been a different outcome.

Emotion was etched on to the Pumas' faces as they sang the national anthem and it was a lack of clear-thinking that enabled Australia to plunder a try inside the opening two minutes when Simmons picked off a telegraphed pass by Sanchez to score under the posts.

As if determined to blow their chances of a showdown with New Zealand, Argentina continued to make a series of naive mistakes, the worst of which saw Sanchez take a quick penalty just yards from his line and knock-on.

From the ensuing attacking scrum, Foley - who shortly before had performed a try-saving tackle on Marcelo Bosch - floated a perfectly judged long-range pass to Ashley-Cooper who raced over in the right corner.

Argentina trailed 14-3 after just 10 minutes and the bad news continued to pour in with a groggy Juan Imhoff being helped from the pitch with what appeared to be concussion.

Two penalties by Sanchez gave the Pumas hope, but this faded once more when lock Tomas Lavanini was sent to the sin-bin by Wayne Barnes for an illegal tackle on Folau, an act that resulted in jeers for the English referee from the pro-Argentina crowd.

Australia took the bold step of sending successive penalties into touch instead of going for goal and while the move did not immediately pay off, eventually the reward came.

After repeatedly switching the point of attack, holes began to appear in the Pumas' defence and Matt Giteau intelligently capitalised on an overlap by flinging a long pass to Ashley-Cooper for the wing's second try.

Argentina lost captain Agustin Creevy to injury, but there was an irrepressibility about their play and only desperate tackles prevented wing Santiago Cordero and centre Juan Martin Hernandez from scoring.

Foley missed a penalty, Australia's scrum collapsed in front of the posts and Sanchez slotted the three points as the deficit was narrowed to 19-12 amid a nervy start to the second half.

An exchange of penalties by Foley and Sanchez kept the scoreboard ticking over in a hard-fought third quarter that almost saw Argentina unlocked when Foley gathered a clever kick from Kurtley Beale, but the fly-half's final pass fell short of Ashley-Cooper.

Nerves were starting to afflict Australia, Foley steering a drop-goal off-target before Folau kicked into his own player to concede accidental offside that allowed the Pumas to renew their attack.

Argentina continued to be hamstrung by their error-count as they repeatedly coughed up possession and they were eventually caught on the counter with Mitchell blazing a trail into the 22 before supplying Ashley-Cooper with the final pass.

Australia had done enough to win and refused to allow their line to be breached as the Pumas pounded away in the final minutes.

Online Editors

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