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Wed Apr 23 19:28:00 SAST 2014

France clinch record win over Argentina

Sapa-AFP | 24 June, 2012 11:220 Comments
France's Louis Picamoles (R) is tackled by Argentina's Belisario Agulla during their test match in Cordoba, June 16, 2012
Image by: Marcos Brindicci / REUTERS

France ran in six tries to crush Argentina 49-10 in the second Test on Saturday and record their biggest ever win over the Pumas.

The victory was also revenge for last weekend’s 23-20 defeat that the French suffered at the hands of the South Americans in Cordoba when they had sloppily conceded a try in the dying minutes.

Saturday’s resounding win was France’s biggest over Argentina since a 47-12 triumph in 1995 and also featured an impressive international debut appearance by Agen scrum-half Maxime Machenaud.

He made his bow alongside recalled fly-half Frederic Michalak, playing for the first time since the 2007 World Cup, and capped it with a try just before half-time.

Unlike last weekend, France dominated up front and in the backs where Michalak kicked 19 points.

Centre Maxime Mermoz was also on the scoresheet with a breakaway try in the 56th minute while also setting up scores for wingers Benjamin Fall, in the 12th minute, and Yoann Huget, six minutes before the interval.

France led 30-3 at the break as a young Pumas side wilted. Most of their senior players were being rested ahead of the start of the new four-nation, southern hemisphere Rugby Championship in August.

Argentina’s only points of the first half came from the boot of skipper and veteran centre Felipe Contepomi, who was probably playing his last international.

Huget scored his second try of the Test after 63 minutes and Clermont lock forward Alexandre Lapandry added his team’s sixth try of the night five minutes later to seal France’s first win in Argentina in 14 years.

Argentine flanker Tomas De la Vega grabbed a consolation try six minutes from the end, which Contepomi converted.

“I’m disappointed that we didn’t play well and when you make so many mistakes they then prove to be very expensive,” said Contepomi.

“We knew what the French were coming to do but we didn’t know what to do to counter it.”

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