Pumas bounce back with win over dogged Italy
November 15, 2008
Argentina's Juan Martin Hernandez provided the spark that won the game for his side
© Getty Images
Argentina bounced back from defeat to France last weekend with a 22-14 win over Italy in Turin.
The Pumas pieced together their best 80 minutes since last season's World Cup against a dogged, but uninspired, Italy line-up. Argentina's pack fought a war against the gritty Azzurri that led to the first half descending into a slow and attritional affair.
Pumas centre Felipe Contepomi gave them the lead with a long penalty before landing two further kicks during the first half. Promising Italy fly-half Andrea Marcato bit back with a kick of his own to make it 3-9 at half-time.
A further Contepomi penalty edged the Pumas further ahead after half-time before Marcato brought the Stadio Olimpico to its feet with a long-range drop goal.
Pumas fly-half Juan Martin Hernandez sealed the game with a trademark moment of brilliance, gathering his own chip before releasing Rafael Carballo with a deft pass to score under the posts.
Contepomi converted and added another penalty before Andrea Masi crossed for a late consolation for Italy.
Italy: Try: Masi Pens: Marcato 3
Argentina: Try: Carballo Con: Contepomi Pens: Contepomi 5
Italy: Andrea Masi, Kaine Robertson, Matteo Pratichetti, Gonzalo Garcia, Mirco Bergamasco, Andrea Marcato, Pablo Canavosio, Sergio Parisse (captain), Mauro Bergamasco, Josh Sole, Marco Bortolami, Carlo Antonio Del Fava, Carlos Nieto, Fabio Ongaro, Matias Aguero
Replacements: Leonardo Ghiraldini, Andrea Lo Cicero, Salvatore Perugini, Tommaso Reato, Pietro Travagli, Luciano Orquera, Luke McLean.
Argentina: Bernardo Stortoni, Federico Martín Aramburú, Gonzalo Tiesi, Felipe Contepomi (captain), Rafael Carballo, Juan Martín Hernández, Nicolás Vergallo, Rodrigo Roncero, Mario Ledesma, Juan Pablo Orlandi, Esteban Lozada, Patricio Albacete, Martín Durand, Rimas Álvarez Kairelis, Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe
Replacements: Alberto Vernet Basualdo, Marcos Ayerza, Álvaro Galindo, Alejandro Campos, Agustín Figuerola, Santiago Fernández, Horacio Agulla
Referee: Chris White (England)
Assitant Referees: Craig Joubert (South Africa), Christophe Berdos (France) Television Match Official: David Changleng (Scotland) Citing Commissioner: Jean-Claude Legendre (France)