France primed for another Pumas exam
November 13, 2012
Yoann Huget celebrates one of his two tries against Argentina in June © Getty Images
France will go into Saturday's match against Argentina looking to turn the tide on their recent run of poor form against the Pumas.
Argentina have won eight of the last 12 meetings between the two nations and met for two Tests in June. France opted to rest many of their key players ahead of the trip to Argentina and were shocked in the opening Test by an efficient Argentina team which prevailed 23-20 thanks to Manuel Montero's late try and Felipe Contepomi's conversion. But France struck back in the next Test with a resounding 49-10 triumph with Frederic Michalak starring at fly-half.
But it is Argentina who have enjoyed the better rub of the green in recent times. And they will look back fondly on the two victories they notched over France, the tournaments hosts, during the 2007 World Cup. They stunned Les Bleus 17-12 in the opening game in Saint Denis before thoroughly embarrassing them with a 34-10 success in the third/fourth place play-off at the Parc des Princes some six weeks later.
It was Les Bleus who won the last time the pair met in France when they prevailed 15-9 in Montpellier back in 2010. In a dire match featuring no tries, Morgan Parra knocked over 12 points and alongside Damien Traille's drop-goal, that proved to be enough to get the victory.
France v Argentina All-time record: Played: 46, France won 33, Argentina won 12, drawn 1.
Biggest winning margin: Fra: 39, 49-10 in Tucuman, 2012; Arg: 28, 41-13 at Velez Sarsfield, 2010.
Highest score: Fra: 49 (49-10) in Tucuman, 2012; Arg: 41 (41-13) at Velez Sarsfield, 2010.
Most tries: Fra: 9 (37-3) at GEBA, 1960; Arg: 5 (34-10) at Parc des Princes, 2007.
Longest winning sequence: Fra: 12 (1949-77); Arg: 4 (2002-06).
Most points (individual): Fra: Jean-Pierre Romeu 63; Arg: Felipe Contepomi 142.
Most tries (individual): Fra: 6 Serge Blanco and Emile Ntamack; Arg: 5 Felipe Contepomi.
Most points in a Test: Fra: 22 Christophe Lamaison at Lansdowne Road, 1999; Arg: 31 Felipe Contepomi at Velez Sarsfield, 2010.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
England broke their losing streak, but this was not them clawing their way back among the best, writes Tom Hamilton
Wales were just 13 minutes from a famous victory, but the lessons to be learned in defeat are almost exactly the same as those from previous near-misses, writes Huw Richards
Ahead of England's clash with Samoa, Scrum Sevens takes a wander down memory lane and celebrates seven examples of Pacific Islands magic
England must find a way to improve their game by tiny margins and they will get there, writes Phil Vickery