Wallabies to put Mendoza ghosts to rest

Returning to Mendoza will allow the Wallabies to lay some ghosts to rest according to five-eighth Bernard Foley.

Less than a year ago in the northern Argentinian city the Australians blew a half-time lead to hand the Pumas their first ever Rugby Championship victory with a 21-17 scoreline.

It was the Wallabies’ first loss in their past 10 Tests.

The disappointing performance capped a tumultuous week in the Australian camp involving Kurtley Beale and then team business manager Di Patson, which ultimately led to the resignation of coach Ewen McKenzie.

With those off-field issues in the past, the Wallabies also want to erase last year’s Mendoza performance with a strong showing on Sunday morning (AEST).

“We don’t have a great feeling coming back here to Mendoza but we get the chance to rectify it,” Foley said.

“There’s a little bit of extra motivation after losing this game last year.”

With at least half a dozen new faces in the squad this time as well as a new coach in Michael Cheika, Foley said the team hadn’t really discussed the loss.

“It’s a whole different team and era but personally it does strike me a little bit harder.”

Australia are expecting Argentina to have targetted this match as their most winnable in the truncated Rugby Championship series after they rested several players in their opening loss to New Zealand.

Foley said they were bracing for fierce battle up front, where the Pumas will look to get the ascendency.

“They will want to take us on up front; that’s where they get their passion and build their game on it,” he said.

“But their unpredictability is also a big strength and they’ve got a lot of flair in their playmakers and also out wide.”

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