Pumas make Rugby World Cup history
Manuel Contepomi celebrates victory over Scotland
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Argentina beat Scotland 19-13 at Stade de France to reach the Rugby World Cup semi-finals for the first time. The Pumas' remarkable march to the semi-finals began at the same ground, when they humbled France in the opening game of the tournament. On this night it was a try from superb No.8 Gonzalo Long-Elia that helped them to victory, with the dual-kicking axis of fly-half Juan Martin Hernandez and centre Felipe Contepomi contributing their other points from the boot. Scotland made it difficult for the Pumas, with a try from replacement scrum-half Chris Cusiter setting up a grandstand finish. But it wasn't a classic, the Guardian observing, "Of the four quarter-finals this was the least compelling, riddled with handling errors from start to finish".
England wound up their unbeaten tour of Canada with a 53-3 victory against Eastern Provinces in Ottawa. It was the biggest win of the tourists' five-match visit but did not start well as they went 0-3 down to an early penalty - the only time on the trip they were behind.
On the tour they scored 164 points and conceded three penalties but it did Canadian rugby little good as the president of the RFU was moved to remark that it showed "they were not ready for full membership of the international union".
In the wake of the All Blacks' RWC'07 quarter-final defeat by France the NZRU announced that a review would take place before Christmas when the future of coach Graham Henry would be considered. Henry's re-appointment followed, breaking a cycle of All Black coaches who had fallen on their swords following Rugby World Cup failure. He addressed his critics well in 2008, the All Blacks winning the Tri-Nations and claiming their second Grand Slam tour of the northern hemisphere in four seasons.
In the seventh match of their tour the All Black 'Originals' conceded their first try, against Durham, the English county champions, who had to start the match with only 13 men owing to traffic hold-ups. However, the tourists recovered to win 16-3.
Swansea's first wartime home match drew a crowd of 2,500 to the St Helen's ground to see the All Whites beat Neath 18-0, scrum-half Haydn Tanner scoring two tries and kicking two conversions. In Richmond, London Scottish beat Harlequins 13-10 in front of "a crowd of peace-time proportions" while across the road an Army XV beat Rosslyn Park 29-19.
Fiji, honouring their special invitation to mark the RFU's Centenary with a tour to England, opened their visit with a convincing 17-3 win against a combined Devon/Cornwall XV at Exeter.