Hooper 'disappointed' as Australia are held by Argentina again

By John Skilbeck 5 December 2020 20
Hooper 'disappointed' as Australia are held by Argentina again

Michael Hooper admitted Australia were unhappy with their showing after Saturday's 16-16 draw with Argentina meant the Wallabies finished bottom of the Tri Nations.

The captain rescued the home team from the prospect of defeat when he was carried over for a second-half try, with Reece Hodge making the conversion to tie up the game.

A dramatic contest featuring a red card for Lukhan Salakaia-Loto and three yellows, plus a try for each team, could have had a late twist but Hodge missed a long-range penalty in the 80th minute.

The outcome meant New Zealand were confirmed as champions, which was practically inevitable from the first whistle given it would have taken a landslide victory for either Australia or Argentina to threaten the All Blacks' supremacy.

A frustrated Hooper told Fox Sports: "They're a tough cookie to crack, the Argies. They applied pressure really well and we weren't able to get over the try-line much except for our mauls there.

"It's been a long season, a tough season, and it's been great to salvage some Test matches and get on the field and get some games in front of Aussies crowds.

"We'll build from that, we're not happy with the performance, we're disappointed that we can't get a win there for our last game."

Heavy rain at Bankwest Stadium meant both sides found it difficult to find fluency. It was the second draw between the teams in the Tri Nations, after a 15-15 battle two weeks ago in Newcastle.

"It was hard conditions there," Hooper said.

"I think we were smarter with our kicks and won the territory battle, we were just unable to convert. Disappointed we couldn't play a bit more.

"I think when we did, we showed some nice stuff, but Argentina have been great defensively throughout this competition. It's a tough ask with four back-to-back big Test matches so they did well.

"We've got to be more accurate. We're far too inaccurate around our ball control and playing in the right areas of the field."

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