France run in six tries to crush Argentina

AFP, TUCUMAN, Argentina

Mon, Jun 25, 2012 - Page 18

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 tourists suffered at the hands of the South Americans in Cordoba, when they 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 it also featured an impressive international debut appearance by Agen scrumhalf Maxime Machenaud.

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

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

Center 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 center 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.

Argentina 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,” Contepomi said.

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

US 10, ITALY 30

AFP, HOUSTON, Texas

Riccardo Bocchino kicked three penalties and two conversions as Italy comfortably beat the US, running in three tries on Saturday.

Carlo Festuccia, Edoardo Gori and Kris Burton all touched down for Italy, who led 20-10 at halftime at Compass Stadium in front of a crowd of 17,214 in Houston.

Paul Emerick scored the only try for the US, who played with two men down for the last quarter of the contest after Emerick and Andrew Suniula were both given red cards.

It was the first clash between Italy and the US since Italy defeated the hosts 27-10 in a pool match at the Rugby World Cup in September last year.

The US went into the match with the same lineup they used to beat Georgia 36-20 last week in Colorado.

CANADA 31, GEORGIA 12

AFP, VANCOUVER

Fullback James Pritchard scored 21 points as Canada defeated Georgia in an international on Saturday.

The 32-year-old Pritchard registered one try, two conversions and four penalties against Georgia in front of a crowd of 3,661 at Swangard Stadium.

Canada led 23-7 at halftime thanks to 16 points from Pritchard, who originally comes from Australia, but is now a Canadian citizen.

Pritchard is the second leading all-time scorer for Canada with 445 career points. The record is held by national program manager Gareth Rees, who finished his career with 491 points.

The game against Georgia wrapped up a three-Test series for Canada that also included a win over the US, 28-25, and a loss to Italy, 26-15.