2022 Argentina vs Australia

The Rugby Championship Round 2 Preview: Can Australia Maintain Momentum?

The Rugby Championship Round 2 Preview: Can Australia Maintain Momentum?

Australia is sitting atop The Rugby Championship table after Round 1, but the team is banged up. Can the Wallabies continue their momentum in Round 2?

Aug 11, 2022 by Briar Napier
The Rugby Championship Round 2 Preview: Can Australia Maintain Momentum?

It's time for Round 2 of The Rugby Championship, with Australia and South Africa looking to build on the success they had last weekend with wins over Argentina and New Zealand, respectively.

Here's a look at what's to come this weekend, as the opening-round opponents hit the pitch for exciting rematches. 

All of the action is being streamed live on FloRugby.

NOTE: Kickoff times are listed in Eastern Time and are subject to change.

Australia Vs. Argentina

When: 3:10 p.m. Saturday

Where: Estadio San Juan del Bicentenario, San Juan, Argentina

The lowdown: Yes, Australia's fight back to beat Argentina on the road was admirable and has the Wallabies sitting a deserved top of the Rugby Championship table after Round 1, but at what cost? 

As Australia had traveled to South America already severely banged up, missing the likes of center Samu Kerevi and prop Scott Sio due to injury, captain Michael Hooper then exited the mini-tour for personal reasons, before fly-half Quade Cooper suffered a severe Achilles injury in the match that could see the 34-year-old out for up to an estimated year or more. 

With that many veteran figures gone while playing for an esteemed championship in enemy territory, it made the Wallabies' victory this past weekend that much more impressive. 

Still, it offers no guarantee that coach Dave Rennie's side is winning the rematch in San Juan, especially considering that Argentina had periods of brilliant rugby, particularly in the first half, as a rejuvenated unit under recently appointed boss Michael Cheika. 

Oh, and because Cheika is a native Aussie and former Wallabies boss, too, there's some added fuel to the fire for him on the touchline, as he aims to get back at his former employers. 

There's additionally a big tactical decision ahead for Rennie in terms of figuring out who to start at the No. 10 with Cooper's absence. 

In the Wallabies' series defeat in July to England, Brumbies man Noah Lolesio earned that role after Cooper missed the entire series following an injury in the warmups of the first test. 

However, in Argentina last weekend, versatile Melbourne Rebels playmaker Reece Hodge came in as a solid replacement when Cooper went down. 

Whomever is selected will have plenty of responsibility, but if they help lead Australia to back-to-back victories to start off the 2022 Rugby Championship, then the Wallabies might just be greater title threats than previously thought.

The day's other match, between South Africa and New Zealand, will get underway Saturday at 11:05 a.m.