Argentina entered Rugby World Cup 2003 as firm underdogs against the host side, Australia with the two teams playing the first game of the tournament. The Wallabies were the reigning World Champions and had enjoyed a significant period of success since 1999 which included winning back-to-back Tri Nations championships and defeating the 2001 British and Irish Lions in two of the three international matches. Argentina, had been impressive but on a lesser scale. Despite defeating Australia in 1997, Argentina continued to be regarded as second string compared to the Wallabies. Argentina had, nevertheless, enjoyed its share of success such as away wins vs Wales and Scotland in 2001 and three home wins vs France in 2002 and 2003. Los Pumas also came clsoe to defeating New Zealand in 2001 and South Africa in 2003.
Australia scored a good win vs Los Pumas in Rugby World Cup 2003. Argentina missed out on a lot of points due to flyhalf, Felipe Contepomi having an off night with the foot. Australia were also able to better capitalize on errors while it took the South Americans around three quarters of the match to start responding. Argentina scored one try but came close to making it two. The try scorer were fullback, Ignacio Corleto who was playing in his second of three Rugby World Cup´s. Minutes after scoring on the touchline for Los Pumas, Corleto, broke the line and looked to be clear only for the most capped player of all time, former Australian scrumhalf, George Gregan to make a covering tackle. Los Pumas were defeated and the eam did not have its best World Cup after the tournament organizers had given Argentina a schedule of playing four matches in sixteen days. Four years on, however, Los Pumas famously tore up the script in knocking off France to open Rugby World Cup 2007. On that night in Paris it was also Ignacio Corleto touching down for Argentina.
The 2003 encounter was the last match between the two countries. When they meet at Skilled Park on Australia´s Gold Coast in the 2012 The Rugby Championship it will be the first game between Argentina and Australia in almost nine years.