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Tri Nations 2020 LIVE: Wallabies, Argentina locked in tense early battle

The Wallabies have had 76 per cent territory and 65 per cent possession but are still locked with Argentina where it counts – the scoreboard.

Some half chances have gone begging but the Australians do feel desperately close to scoring more points.

It’s still 3-all after 24 minutes.

A few millimetres of white paint have just been denied Jordan Petaia one of the finest finishes you’re every likely to see.

Reece Hodge grubbered into Argentina’s in goal almost immediately after winning a lineout and Petaia was the only player within cooee of the loose ball.

But a dodgy bounce meant the Queensland Reds star had to somersault while trying to stay in field and ground the ball.

His final step just touched the dead ball line, robbing him of a sensational try.

It’s still 3-all after 16 minutes.

Another great Nic White kick has forced Argentina to put the ball out deep inside their own 22.

A prime opportunity for the Wallabies to turn some pressure into points now.

There’s some top notch rugby being played by both teams here but neither side has been able to wrestle any early ascendency.

The Wallabies’ pack are hitting the gain line, their backs look crisp and the set piece has functioned well so far. Very good signs.

They’ve impressed former star playmaker Quade Cooper, too.

Whether that’s the case for the next 67 minutes remains to be seen.

It’s still 3-all after 13 minutes of action.

A poor decision from Hunter Paisami to try and run the ball out of the Wallabies’ 22 from the restart has gifted Argentina a defensive breakdown penalty.

Nicolas Sanchez turned that penalty into three points.

We’re all square after six minutes.

That’s as good a start as the Wallabies could have hoped for.

Some great kicking from Nic White – and a line break for good measure – gave the Australians prime field position and that turned into three points for Reece Hodge after just three minutes.

Reece Hodge has kicked things off in Newcastle.

Let’s see if Argentina can back up their remarkable performance this time last week.

It’s almost game time.

The Wallabies have just run out onto the McDonald Jones Stadium turf and the Argentinians have followed suit.

Time for the anthems.

Michael Cheika will be in Argentina’s coaches box tonight, plotting the downfall of the country he said he could never coach against.

Michael Cheika on the turf of Bankwest Stadium last Saturday.

Michael Cheika on the turf of Bankwest Stadium last Saturday.Credit:Stu Walmsley/Rugby Australia

The former Wallabies boss has denied multiple requests to speak this week but he’s already out in the middle of McDonald Jones Stadium, keeping a close eye on Argentina’s warm up.

Michael Hooper has had a fair bit to do with Cheika and while he is a man of many languages, the Wallabies skipper had a cheeky dig at his Spanish speaking skills yesterday.

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