Mon, Jun 18, 2012 - Page 19 News List

Argentina narrowly defeat France with desperate late try

AP, CORDOBA, ARGENTINA

Debutant Manuel Montero scored a late winning try for Argentina on Saturday, who narrowly defeated France 23-20 at the Mario Kempes stadium.

France had the better possession, but mistakes handed Argentina a try in each half, while France could only manage one try.

France has not won a game in Argentina against Los Pumas since 1998, but will get a chance in the final game of its two-game tour next Saturday in Tucuman.

Both sides were using the game as a chance to experiment with their starting lineups, with each fielding two debutants from the start.

It was Montero who made the key play of the game. He chased down a kick forward in the 77th minute, took the ball under control and avoided two tackles to make it 21-20 to the home side.

A misplaced pass by France handed Argentina possession, which they swiftly turned into a try on the counter-attack.

Felipe Contempomi then converted to give Argentina the three-point victory.

France had started the brighter side, going ahead through a Morgan Parra penalty kick in the 3rd minute.

Argentina’s Belisario Agulla scored a try one minute later after a poor pass from France No. 10 Francois Trinh Duc gifted him an unchallenged passage to the try line.

Both sides traded penalty kicks, before France scored an imaginative try in the 26th with the score at 10-9 to Argentina.

A diagonal kick into the corner was knocked down by winger Yoann Huget, for No. 8 Louis Picamoles to pick up and drive over the line.

Parra scored two penalties early in the second half to take France to a 20-13 lead, but Argentina responded through a penalty to trail by four. Contepomi then missed what appeared an easy penalty attempt in the 64th and France looked to be in control, before Montero stole victory in the final minutes.

? South Africa 36, England 27

AP, JOHANNESBURG

South Africa clinched series victory over a gutsy England as a first-half blitz and J.P. Pietersen’s late game-clinching try sent the Springboks to a 36-27 win in the second test at Ellis Park on Saturday.

Flanker Willem Alberts, hooker Bismarck du Plessis and scrumhalf Francois Hougaard scored tries for South Africa inside the first 20 minutes to set up an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.

South Africa had to cling on despite its first-half dominance over Stuart Lancaster’s England, which scored tries through recalled flyhalf Toby Flood in the 24th and two from Ben Youngs in a second-half surge that brought the tourists to within four points after trailing 22-3 early on.

Wing Pietersen scored South Africa’s crucial fourth try in the 73rd to seal the series.

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