Sunday 26 February 2017

Pumas show tough edge

France 15 Argentina 9

ARGENTINA arrived in Dublin yesterday after suffering a narrow defeat to France in a gruelling encounter in Montpellier.

Ireland are in for a difficult afternoon on this evidence, as the tourists made life difficult for the French, who were unable to cross for a try.

Having been hammered 41-13 by Argentina at Velez Sarsfield in June, coach Marc Lievremont had demanded the record be put straight and a performance more solid than last weekend's shoddy 34-12 win over Fiji in Nantes.

And led by scrum-half Morgan Parra, they atoned for the defeat last June in an abrasive clash on Saturday.

A pre-match downpour meant conditions were difficult for the clash as Parra opened the scoring with a penalty, before former Leinster star Felipe Contepomi replied in kind to level.

Parra restored his side's lead midway through the opening half with a second effort after the home pack had camped on the Argentinian line without finding a way through.

Another Parra penalty meant Les Bleus led 9-6 at the break, and his miss with his first kick of the second half allowed Contepomi another chance to reduce the lead.

But that was as close as the Pumas would come as Aurelien Rougerie and Yoann Huget combined to establish field position for out-half Damien Traille to fire over a drop-goal.

Parra then extended the lead and all that Argentina could muster in response was a final Contepomi effort as Lievremont's team secured their bragging rights.

Irish Independent

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