Wallabies captain James Slipper says a disallowed try that would have put his side ahead of the Pumas put too much pressure on the visitors.
Australia went down 48-17 in their second away clash, conceding seven tries and their first Rugby Championship defeat in five matches.
Although it wasn’t like one of the injury-laden bruising encounters of late, it was still a demoralizing day for the fresh-faced side.
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The key moment of the game came when Slipper was penalized for an incident in the 20th minute after flipping Pablo Matera in the ruck.
The incident caught the ire of All Blacks great turned Stan Sport commentator Andrew Mehrtens, who questioned the validity of the referee’s call.
If not for the penalty, Australia would have led Argentina, 15-14, with a conversion to come.
Instead, the Wallabies went into halftime down 26-10 after the Pumas went over twice more in the 20 minutes that followed the indiscretion.
“I was pretty much the culprit of the incident, unfortunately,” Slipper said on nine’s Sports Sunday.
“It was just an unfortunate incident where a player ended up in a bad position. Whether it’s the right or wrong call, I’ll leave that up to someone else to make.
Mehrtens slams ‘absurd’ decision
“It was a big moment in the game that we needed to nail and we obviously didn’t get the rub of the green there. So, put ourselves under more pressure
“In Test match rugby, you obviously need to make opportunities but you need to take them and that’s one we let go.”
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Argentina’s one-sided round two victory stood in stark contrast to the round one defeat, which saw them go down 26-41 at Estadio Malvinas Argentinas.
Asked what, if any, effect coach Michael Cheika had had on the comeback, Slipper said Argentina emerged the second time with “a lot of energy” at Estadio Bicentenario.
“Both games they’ve started really well,” said Slipper.
Last week we managed to claw them back in and win the game in the second half.
“I’m not sure if it’s the Cheika effect, but I’m sure he would have got his team up and very motivated for the game coming off a loss.
“A lot can happen in a week in any sport. We’ve seen that tonight and we were humbled pretty badly tonight.
“We’re pretty disappointed we didn’t put in a performance that our fans can be proud of. It’s been a hard pill to swallow.”
The next Wallabies fixture will see them face the Springboks on August 27 in Adelaide.
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