The Wallabies were left scratching their collective heads after an “absurd” penalty saw a try overturned in their second Rugby Championship match against the Pumas.
James O’Connor crossed the chalk in the 20th minute at Estadio Bicentenario after an offload from Jordan Petaia as Australia thought they had taken a 15-14 lead.
However, on review, it was deemed captain James Slipper had infringed after flipping Pablo Matera in the ruck.
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Pumas player Pablo Matera’s legs rise into the air in a tackle with Wallabies captain James Slipper (Getty)
All Blacks legend turned Stan Sport commentator Andrew Mehrtens questioned the legitimacy of the penalty, bemoaning the decision.
“Surely there’s nothing wrong with that? There’s no other way that James Slipper can make this clean out,” said Mehrtens.
“Matera has gone there, he’s got him around the shoulders, it’s Matera’s fault that he’s got himself in that position.
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“No, he hasn’t flipped his legs over guys, surely.”
Slipper also questioned the penalty, suggesting Matera hadn’t supported his own weight and had landed on a Wallabies player.
“It’s the fact that he’s gone over, he’s gone horizontal, which is a penalty,” said referee Karl Dickson.
“You can’t flip him over in a ruck. The first player has cleared their leg, lifting the leg, and you’ve flipped him over.”
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Mehrtens duly doubled down in his assessment.
“No, this is absurd,” he said.
“Slipper has only got one target there or one opportunity to clean out Matera who is wrapping himself around the ball carrier, by the way, which is illegal, and he’s cleaned him out the only way he can. This is an absolute absurdity.”
The penalty brought the score back in Argentina’s favour, 14-10.
At halftime, Argentina led 26-10 after tries in the 24th and 32nd minute to Jerónimo de la Fuente and Juan Martín González respectively.
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