French toast tough Pumas defeat
FRANCE produced some champagne rugby before almost losing the plot, having to survive a lastgasp penalty attempt to pip Argentina in their opener yesterday.
Fly-half Romain Ntamack led a schizophrenic French performance with 10 points as the three-time finalists hung on, 23-21, to win a pulsating Pool C clash in Tokyo to leave the Pumas staring into the abyss in the tournament’s so-called “group of death”.
Argentina, who will likely need to beat England to avoid an early exit, almost pulled off an astonishing comeback after being sent into battle by an emotional rallying cry from football legend Diego Maradona.
Trailing by 17 points at half-time, they fell just short after a last-minute penalty attempt from Emiliano Boffelli sailed just wide, allowing France to claim a crucial victory.
“I thought the game was finished, I thought we’d lost the game,” said France captain Guilhem Guirado, referring to the late penalty Australian referee Angus Gardner awarded.