Leali'ifano leads Wallabies to 16-10 win over Argentina

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Australia Rugby Argentina

Australia's Will Genia kicks the ball during a Rugby Championship match between Australia and Argentina in Brisbane, Australia, Saturday, July 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Tertius Pickard)

BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — Flyhalf Christian Leali'ifano, playing his first test in more than three years for Australia after recovering from leukemia, kicked three penalties and a conversion in the Wallabies' 16-10 win over Argentina in a Rugby Championship match Saturday.

Leali'ifano played the last of his 19 tests in June 2016, two months before he was diagnosed with leukemia. He recovered after intensive treatment to rejoin the Canberra-based Brumbies in Super Rugby late in the 2017 season.

Center Reece Hodge scored a first-half try to help Australia to a 10-3 halftime lead. Forward Facundo Isa made it close for Argentina with a try with six minutes remaining that replacement Joaquin Diaz Bonilla converted.

Australia lost to South Africa 35-17 last weekend while Argentina was beaten 20-16 by New Zealand. Earlier Saturday, New Zealand and South Africa played to a 16-16 draw.

Due to the upcoming Rugby World Cup in Japan beginning in late September, the tournament has been reduced to three rounds. In two weeks, Australia hosts New Zealand at Perth and South Africa travels to Buenos Aires to play Argentina.

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