The most prolific try-scorer in history against the All Blacks has hit form at an opportune time.
Australia wing Adam Ashley-Cooper helped booked his side a spot in Sunday’s (NZ time) Rugby World Cup final against New Zealand, scoring a hat-trick of tries in their 29-15 semifinal win over Argentina at Twickenham.
Ashley-Cooper’s showed his awareness and clinical finishing ability with all three tries.
It is an ominous warning for All Black fans with the 31-year-old, the all-time leading tryscorer against New Zealand, having dotted down nine times.
Ashley-Cooper’s hat-trick was the second of his career. He also notched three tries during the 2011 Rugby World Cup when he bagged three tries in a seven-minute span against the United States in the Wallabies’ 67-5 win.
Lock Rob Simmons scored Australia’s first try of the semifinal in just the second minute after he intercepted a sloppy pass from Argentina first-five Nicolas Sanchez.
From there, it was the Ashley-Cooper show.
He crashed over for his first to make it 14-3, following a sweet cut-out pass from first five Bernard Foley, from a solid Australian scrum.
Ashley-Cooper completed a first half double when second-five Matt Giteau spotted the overlap with Argentine lock Tomás Lavanini in the sinbin.
His third try wrapped up the contest, seven minutes from time, when Drew Mitchell made a brilliant break from one edge of the field to the other and set up Ashley-Cooper.
After the game, he spoke about the excitement of playing in his first Rugby World Cup final.
Ashley-Cooper has been a mainstay of the side, playing more than 100 games in the gold jumper since debuting in 2005.
He has consistently been one of the Wallabies’ best in recent years and will be fired up for the first trans-Tasman Rugby World Cup final in history.
For more top World Cup coverage, check out the RWC section at Stuff.co.nz, including:
- Richie McCaw won’t be cited
- Wallabies coach Michael Cheika ‘happy’ with win
- All Blacks adopt ‘fortress’ Twickenham
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