Contepomi inspires rampant Pumas
June 26, 2010
Pumas fly-half Felipe Contepomi weighed in with 31 points in Buenos Aires
© Getty Images
Argentina bounced back to form in emphatic style with a record 41-13 thumping of France at the Estadio José Amalfitani in Buenos Aires.
Fly-half Felipe Contepomi ensured the Pumas returned to winning ways after a 2-0 series loss to Scotland earlier this month with a superb all-round display that saw him claim two tries and kick five penalties and three conversions. No.8 Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe and winger Rafael Carballo also crossed for tries as the hosts over-powered the lacklustre Les Bleus. Winger Julien Malzieu grabbed France's only try as their Six Nations Grand Slam-winning season ended on a disappointing note.
The result was France's worst defeat at the hands of the Pumas - eclipsing the 34-10 loss in the third place play-off at Rugby World Cup 2007 - and it also brought the curtain down on a disastrous tour for Marc Lievremont's side that also included a 42-17 mauling by South Africa in Cape Town.
France took an early lead with Morgan Parra's penalty in the second minute, but fly-half Contepomi slotted over two of his own to put the hosts 6-3 in front by the ninth minute. The Toulon player missed another penalty in front of the posts in the 12th minute and France equalised with another Parra penalty six minutes later.
Contepomi was on target with another penalty in the 26th minute and, after Florian Fritz had been shown a yellow card, Contepomi added three more points with a 25-yard effort. Before the end of the first period Argentina scored their first try of the night with Fernandez Lobbe running from one end to the other to cross the line in the corner. Contepomi converted to put Argentina 19-6 ahead at the break.
Eight minutes after the interval Contepomi evaded the France defence to touch down himself and added the conversion to make it 26-6. However, Julien Malzieu reduced the deficit as he was left unopposed to score and Parra kicked the conversion to make it 26-13 in the 52th minute.
Scrum-half Nicolas Vergallo then took the ball from a ruck and gave it to Contepomi. He passed to winger Martin Rodriguez Gurruchaga who swept the ball on to Rafael Carballo who crossed for Argentina's third try of the game in the corner. Contepomi failed to convert but added a penalty in the 65th minute.
And the skipper rounded off his fine display by again avoiding France's weak defence to touch down in the 69th minute. He added another conversion to put the finishing touches to a convincing win.
The win extends Argentina's recent dominance over France with this latest victory their seventh in the last nine meetings of the sides.
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