GOLD COAST, Australia (AP) — The Wallabies completed back-to-back wins with nerve-jangling finishes to stay in contention in the Rugby Championship, holding off a storming finish from Argentina on Saturday for a 32-25 victory.

Skipper Michael Hooper crossed for tries at the start of each half and Australia built a 29-13 lead with 20 minutes remaining. But the Pumas rallied with tries from Marcelo Bosch and Joaquin Tuculet and got themselves into a position to draw the match with a last-minute scrum five yards out, under the posts.

The powerful Pumas pack conceded a free kick at the crucial moment, though, giving Australia a reprieve only a week after its late comeback win over South Africa. The Wallabies have two wins and a draw in four matches in the tournament, but are six points behind New Zealand and are also behind the Springboks on points differential.

Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie said Australia did well to control the game for 50 minutes but later in the match "we found different ways to give them the ball."

"The Argentinians got back into it, put a lot of pressure on us," McKenzie said. "That's what they do. They did it to South Africa and New Zealand. We don't feel like the odd one out there. You've got to be able to deal with it, and we did at key moments."

Light rain before kickoff made the ball and field slippery and contributed to a grinding, error-strewn clash. Australia had most of the early chances and led 14-7 at halftime with three penalty goals from Bernard Foley and Hooper's third-minute try, when he ran into a yawning gap near the quarterline after 10 phases of possession.

The Pumas responded quickly to the opening try, taking a 7-5 lead when Manuel Montero swooped on turnover ball and fended off opposite winger Peter Betham, Hooper and Foley on his long, solo run down the left touchline.

Foley regained the lead with a penalty goal but the Wallabies wasted chances to go further ahead when Nick Phipps took a quick tap from close range instead of a shot at goal and Foley bombed a try-scoring chance when he took on the defense instead of passing to unmarked Rob Horne within touching distance of the tryline.

Tatafu Polata-Nau's return to the Wallabies' lineup for his 50th test lasted until halftime, with the veteran hooker appearing to struggle with an ankle injury before being replaced.

Hooper scored again four minutes into the second half after sustained pressure from Australia and the kickers traded penalties to make it 24-13 before Phipps slid through an opening on the fringe of a breakdown near halfway and floated a pass to Betham, who crashed over in the right corner to extend the lead to 16 points.

But just when Australia appeared to be coasting to victory, Argentina hit back hard.

The Pumas took a quick free kick in the 64th and caught the Australian defense on the back foot, with Bosch scoring out wide.

Argentina pounced again in the 71st after the Wallabies turned over the ball on their own tryline. Flyhalf Nicolas Sanchez kicked a grubber in behind the defense and fullback Tuculet dived on the ball in-goal to narrow the gap to four points.

Sanchez narrowly missed the conversion — hitting the right post — and Foley landed a penalty at the other end to make it a converted-try difference. Then Argentina blew a chance when replacement scrumhalf Tomas Cubelli knocked-on at the back of an attacking ruck with five minutes remaining.

Right at the end, the Pumas earned a penalty and opted for a scrum close to Australiia's line, hoping for a push-over or a penalty try, but the resulting free kick ended the rally.

"We're happy with the last 20 minutes we had, but we're not happy with the game," Argentina captain Agustin Creevy said. "We spent most of the time on defense and that made us tired toward the end. Only in the last 20 minutes could we make our game — we were close to getting a draw."

It was a frustrating night for the Australians, who dominated possession and won the rucks and mauls 88-52, but lost too much ball in contact situations with 14 turnovers — three more than the Pumas, who have yet to register a win in this year's tournament.



Australia 32 (Michael Hooper 2, Peter Betham tries; Bernard Foley 5 penalties, conversion), Argentina 25 (Manuel Montero, Marcelo Bosch, Joaquin Tuculet tries; Nicolas Sanchez 2 conversions, 2 penalties) HT: 14-7.