Adam Ashley-Cooper became only the second player to score a hat-trick in a World Cup semi-final after Jonah Lomu as Australia beat Argentina 29-15 to make their fourth World Cup final.
It started disasterously for Argentina as Rob Simmons opened the scoring with an interception from Federico Sanchez in the second minute, and Australia never surrendered their lead.
Argentina stayed in touch through the metronomic boot of Sanchez but a further Ashley-Cooper try before the break gave the Wallabies a 19-12 advantage at the break.
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Despite losing the influential Juan Imhoff, skipper Agustin Creevy and Juan Martin Hernandez through injury, Argentina kept to within a converted try until the final ten minutes. But a brilliant run from Drew Mitchell set Ashley-Cooper for his hat-trick to win the game.
On closer inspection, the pass looked slightly forward but Australia were the better side on the day and deserved their place in the final.
Australia and New Zealand have featured in six of the seven World Cup finals but Saturday will be the first time they will come face to face on the biggest stage of all.

Australia's Israel Folau in action against Argentina

Image credit: Reuters

An inconsistent day for Wayne Barnes. Failed to give a possible scrum penalty to Argentina before the break, harshly sin-binned Tomas Lavanini and decided not to use the TMO for Australia’s match-sealing try.
[MATCHCAST: Full scoring summary and live commentary]
2’ – AUSTRALIA 7-0 ARGENTINA – TRY: A loose pass from Sanchez is intercepted by Rob Simmons and he’s under the posts. Foley adds the extras.
5’ – TRY SAVING TACKLE: Marcelo Bosch storms through a massive gap in the centre and he’s in but for a great tackle from Foley! Argentina have the penalty anyway.
6’ – AUSTRALIA 7-3 ARGENTINA – PEN: Nicolas Sanchez gets Argentina on the scoreboard.
9’ – AUSTRALIA 14-3 ARGENTINA – TRY: A great Australia scrum and simple pass out wide right from Foley finds Ashley-Cooper and he has a simple run in to the corner. Foley converts.
26’ – YELLOW CARD : Lavanini goes into the bin for a no arms tackle on Folau. Looked controversial.
32’ – AUSTRALIA 19-6 ARGENTINA – TRY: Desperate tackling as Folau is brought down just short of the line. Surely Argentina can’t hold out for much longer. It's shipped left from Giteau and Ashley-Cooper is over for his second try.
72’ – AUSTRALIA 29-15 ARGENTINA – TRY: It’s a tremendous run from Drew Mitchell, slicing his way from one touchline to the other to set up Ashley-Cooper for his hat-trick. There’s an element of a forward pass about it but Wayne Barnes elects not to use the TMO.

Australia's David Pocock was in the wars against Argentina

Image credit: Reuters

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