Rugby World Cup 2019: France 23-21 Argentina

By Sports Desk September 21, 2019

France escaped the ignominy of being on the receiving end of the biggest comeback in Rugby World Cup history as Camille Lopez's drop goal secured a 23-21 victory over Argentina.

A Jekyll and Hyde display from Les Bleus saw them take a 17-point lead in the first half as Gael Fickou and Antoine Dupont crossed within four minutes of each other at the end of impressive moves.

But the Pumas roared back and were soon leading after using their set-piece to get Guido Petti Pagadizabal and Julian Montoya over from line-outs.

Lopez's first act after coming on as a replacement was to kick the winning points, with Emiliano Boffelli missing a last-minute penalty and the final whistle was followed by a short brawl between the two sets of players.

Nicolas Sanchez slotted through a penalty after a bulldozing run by Petti Pagadizabal but France moved ahead when Virimi Vakatawa dropped Pablo Matera and fed Fickou, who stepped in off the left and stretched over in the 17th minute.

A surge down the right from Damian Penaud proved key to Les Bleus' opener and, after some terrific hands in the build-up, the wing offloaded in the tackle for Dupont to go over in the corner.

After adding the extras to both tries, Romain Ntamack contributed a pair of three-pointers either side of some stoic try-line defence to send France into the break 20-3 up.

The Pumas meant business after the restart, though, and had their first try within two minutes – Petti Pagadizabal making the most of the decision to opt for a line-out rather than a kick at goal from a penalty.

Argentina repeated the trick in the 53rd minute and Montoya touched down off the rolling maul, but Sanchez – having appeared to hurt his shoulder in the first half – missed the conversion and was replaced by Benjamin Urdapilleta, who quickly reduced the deficit to two points.

Urdapilleta edged the Pumas ahead for the first time after the TMO decided Boffelli's aerial challenge with Penaud, which saw the wing leave for a head injury assessment, was fair.

Lopez's ambitious drop goal just about had enough length on it and Fickou was let off the hook by Boffelli after a clumsy tackle on the full-back, whose 53-metre penalty curled narrowly wide to give France the win.

 

France strike first blow

In a pool that also includes England, it always seemed likely that the winner of this game will follow them into the quarter-finals. Having fallen in their opener, Argentina will need a big performance against Eddie Jones' side if they are to revive hopes of progression.

Les Bleus lose their discipline

Les Bleus struggled to cope with Argentina's electric start to the second half and referee Angus Gardner warned them twice that repeated infringements could lead to a yellow card. They were fortunate that did not come to fruition.

What's next?

Argentina take on Tonga in Higashiosaka next Saturday, while France are not in action until their match with the United States in Fukuoka on October 2.

Related items

  • Australia had discussions with Eddie Jones – RA boss Castle Australia had discussions with Eddie Jones – RA boss Castle

    Rugby Australia (RA) chief executive Raelene Castle said discussions were held with England head coach Eddie Jones before the Wallabies appointed Dave Rennie.

    RA confirmed the appointment of New Zealander and Glasgow Warriors boss Rennie as Michael Cheika's replacement on Wednesday.

    Cheika vacated his position following Australia's quarter-final defeat to England at the Rugby World Cup in Japan.

    A return to Australia was touted for Jones, who was sacked by the Wallabies in 2005, but Castle revealed it was too difficult to prise the 59-year-old from England.

    "We had discussions with Eddie," she told a news conference for Rennie's appointment midweek.

    "But he was contracted to England, and tightly contracted, which ruled him out."

    Rennie – a two-time Super Rugby-winning coach with the Chiefs – is the second New Zealander to coach the Wallabies, following in the footsteps of Robbie Deans.

    Deans took over in 2007 and he guided Australia to third place at the 2011 World Cup before being axed in 2013.

    Having been encouraged to apply for the All Blacks vacancy following Steve Hansen's exit, Rennie told Rugby.com.au: "I'm a proud Kiwi but the big thing is I've been talking to Australia for a lot of months and the All Blacks interest came in late in the piece and by that stage, we'd done a lot of homework, we were really excited about the opportunity to go to Australia and that ended up being an easy decision."

    Rennie, who will not arrive until July, added: "I think Australians want their national team coached by an Australian and I'm OK with that.

    "Hopefully, they're feeling that way because they care about Aussie rugby and all I can say is everywhere I've gone I've immersed myself in the community and the culture.

    "I guess we'll be judged by what we do as opposed to what I say now but I can assure you that I care about he future of Australian rugby, going to work really hard to get a strong connection with the Super Rugby coaches and a national age grade coaches to ensure we've got good young talent through and good pathways for them."

  • Rennie named new Wallabies head coach Rennie named new Wallabies head coach

    Dave Rennie will become the Wallabies' new head coach, Rugby Australia have confirmed, though he will not start in the role until July 2020.

    Rennie, who will complete his commitments with Glasgow Warriors before taking charge next year, has signed a deal running through to the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

    The 55-year-old New Zealander won back-to-back Super Rugby titles with the Chiefs before heading to Europe to continue his coaching career, having previously had a spell in charge of the All Blacks' Under-20 team.

    His appointment ends the search to find a replacement for Michael Cheika, whose tenure came to an end with Australia's quarter-final defeat to England at this year's World Cup in Japan.

    Rugby Australia chief executive Raelene Castle confirmed Rennie was their preferred candidate, while also announcing director of rugby Scott Johnson will take charge of the national team in the short term.

    "This is a massive coup for Australian rugby. Dave Rennie was the clear standout candidate for the job, and we're thrilled to have secured his services," Castle said in a statement.

    "Dave's coaching philosophy focuses equally on football and team culture, the key pillars to building sustainable success in any team. He has a proven track record in the Northern and Southern Hemisphere.

    "Given incumbent head coach Michael Cheika had indicated in early 2019 the possibility that he would not seek re-appointment for the role, we needed to identify a list of candidates that would be available to us, and suitable to work within our new high performance framework. This search has been ongoing for the past six months.

    "When Michael then confirmed he would not seek re-appointment following our Rugby World Cup exit, we moved to appoint our preferred candidate."

  • BREAKING NEWS: Rennie named new Wallabies head coach BREAKING NEWS: Rennie named new Wallabies head coach

    Dave Rennie will become the Wallabies' new head coach, Rugby Australia have confirmed, though he will not start in the role until July 2020.

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.