Saturday will see a big Tri Nations clash between the Wallabies of Australia and the Argentinian Pumas at McDonald Jones Stadium in New South Wales.
It is a fixture which traditionally brings with it a fair amount of needle as two significant powers in the rugby world come to blows in defence of their respective authorities.
Los Pumas made history last weekend as a titanic effort saw them down the mighty All Blacks for the first time, running out 25-15 winners in Parramatta. It was heroic captain Pablo Matera’s men’s first outing in the current competition and they managed to surpass all expectations in passionate style.
Australia already have had two fixtures under the (both against the All Blacks). Round 1 saw them crash to a disastrous, record-breaking defeat (43-5) before an astonishing turn-around saw them beat their rivals 24-22 at Suncorp Stadium.
Both teams going into this match-up on the back of such significant victories adds good spice to the encounter and has the rugby world’s attention within its grasp.
With this great battle looming, we now take a look at the last five games between these two stalwarts:
16 September 2017 – Canberra Stadium:
A tightly contested first half boiled over into the Wallabies running rampant in the second. A solid all-round performance from the men in gold running up a score of 45-20.
7 October 2017 - Estadio Malvinas Argentinas, Mendoza:
The Wallabies made it two from two in 2017 after they completed the unenviable task of beating the Pumas in their back yard.
Both teams had a brace of tries to their names when the half-time whistle sounded but, as in Canberra less than a month before, it was Australia who dominated the second stanza.
Final score: 37-20.
15 September 2018, Robina Stadium, Gold Coast:
Robina Stadium was the scene of an upset as the Pumas pulled off a dramatic victory after a pulsating display of rugby. Nicolas Sanchez was on top form as he guided his team to a 23-19 win.
6 october 2018, Estadio Padre Ernesto Martearena, Salta:
The Wallabies avenged their defeat on the Gold Coast with a convincing 45-34 victory in Salta. The Pumas started with enormous gusto, dotting down twice before the game was five minutes old. With the half-time score at 31-7, it looked as though the Pumas had it wrapped up – or so they thought.
The Wallabies rolled up their sleeves and pulled off an immense, five-try comeback in the second half.
27 July 2019, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane:
A relatively low-scoring affair saw Australia triumph 16-10 over their rivals. It was a strong display of defence as both teams limited each other to only one try. The Pumas looked slightly off the boil and allowed the Wallabies to dictate the tempo of the match.
Thus, with only one win in the last five encounters, the Pumas will have a lot to prove in Saturday's fixture and, if last weekend is anything to go by, they are in a great position to do it. With the bookies are favouring Matera's men, the Wallabies will be grateful for the home-ground advantage, but will they be able to stem the advancing blue and white tide?