Monday 16 December 2019

Nicolas Sanchez key as Pumas earn victory in France

France 13 Argentina 18

Nicolas Sanchez of Argentina kicks a penalty during the international friendly match between France and Argentina at Stade de France
Nicolas Sanchez of Argentina kicks a penalty during the international friendly match between France and Argentina at Stade de France
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Nicolas Sanchez's virtuoso kicking display led Argentina to a deserved win at France .

The Toulon fly-half converted three of Argentina's four drop goals and kicked over two penalties as the Pumas led 18-3 early in the second half. The hosts did not give up, with Wesley Fofana scoring the only try of the game in the 57th minute.

Les Bleus cut the gap to 18-13 in the 64th minute and almost pulled off a late comeback, but Scott Spedding's try in the last play of the game was overruled by touch judge, Steve Walsh.

In the 26th minute, Les Bleus were penalised for offside and Sanchez made no mistake to extend his team's lead. Argentina then hit France with two consecutive drop goals - the first from Juan Martin Hernandez and the next by Sanchez to go 15-0 up.

Camille Lopez kicked the hosts' first points of the game after Argentina were penalised for pulling down a maul.

But the Pumas picked up where they left off after the restart. A third drop goal by Sanchez extended Argentina's lead to 18-3. The French reacted and got a try in the 57th minute.

Fofana bulldozed his way over. Lopez kicked the resulting conversion to make it 18-10. The French pressed and a Rory Kockott penalty closed the gap to 18-13. Roared by the fans, Les Bleus made a last-ditch effort to get a try.

The crowd and the players believed they had won the game when Spedding went over but their claims were waved away without the use of the Television Match Official and Argentina were left celebrating a huge victory.

France - S Spedding, Y Huget, M Mermoz (M Bastareaud 43), W Fofana, M Medard, C Lopez (R Tales 70), S Tillous-Borde (R Kockott 47), X Chiocci, B Kayser (G Guirado 47), N Mas (U Atonio 41), P Pape, S Vahaamahina (Y Maestri 50), T Dusautoir, B Le Roux, Chouly (C Ollivon 75).

Argentina - J Tuculet (L Gonzalez Amorosino 62), J Imhoff, M Bosch (S Gonzalez Iglesias 17) J M Hernandez, M Montero, N Sanchez, T Cubelli (M Landajo 62), M Ayerza (L Noguera Paz 65), A Creevy, M Tetaz Chaparro (R Herrera 58), G Petti (L Ponce 75), T Lavanini, F Isa, J Desio Ortega, L Senatore (T Lezana 20).

Ref - G Clancy (Ireland).

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