The Wallabies have booked themselves a Rugby World Cup final against reigning champions the All Blacks after defeating a spirited Argentina.
Ashley-Cooper sealed the win, and Australia’s spot in a fourth World Cup final, with his third try with eight minutes remaining, when he cashed in on a brilliant run by fellow winger Drew Mitchell.
Mitchell beat six Pumas defenders on a sensational winding, cross-field run before linking up with Ashley-Cooper who crossed out wide to kill off Argentina’s hopes of a maiden World Cup final.
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Israel Folau, who overcome an ankle injury which ruled him out of last weekend’s quarter-final win over Scotland, was jittery under the high-ball and made had some questionable kicks – but again recovered with incisive runs to make an impact before being replaced with 15 minutes remaining.
The return of David Pocock from a calf injury had an immediate impact on the Wallabies controlling the breakdown – he had two turnovers in the opening 20 minutes and finished with three, taking his tournament tally to 13.
Pocock played the entire 80 minutes to dispel fears over his calf injury and remains Australia’s best hope of securing an upset over the defending champion All Blacks at Twickenham on Saturday (Sunday 0300 AEDT).
History will be made next week at Twickenham with both the Wallabies and the All Blacks playing for a record third Rugby World Cup title.
In the second semi-final played on Monday morning, Australia was too good for their fellow southern hemisphere team winning 29-15 with Adam Ashley-Cooper bagging a hat-trick.