Argentina aiming to complete the job
THIRD TEST Argentina v France:FRANCE ARE in danger of suffering a series whitewash as Argentina continue to prepare for their meeting with South Africa in Cape Town in the inaugural Rugby Championship (formerly known as the Tri-Nations).
After two defeats in the past fortnight, France are now without a success in Argentina since 1998 and the Pumas have moved to sixth in the world rankings.
France go to seventh position on the rankings list and now look highly unlikely to make the crucial top four in the IRB list before the draw for the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England is made in December.
In truth, they should have won the second Test in Cordoba last week as a sloppy pass from Francois Trinh-Duc in the opening exchanges found wing Belisario Agulla, who strolled to the whitewash.
And Les Bleus ended the game how they started with more careless play, this time from Fulgence Ouedraogo, leading to Manuel Montero crossing for the match-winning try that helped the Pumas to an impressive eighth win in the last 11 games with Philippe Saint-Andrés men.
Saint-André was clearly fuming with his side for falling to the defeat as despite many saying this is a weakened French line-up, it still possessed a good deal of experience through the likes of Morgan Parra, Pascal Pape, Trinh-Duc and Dimitri Szarzewski, with the head coach clearly upset in the aftermath.
Saint-André’s general message is for France to stop assuming they are superior to opposition – something they surely need to adopt against Argentina tonight given their recent record.
It remains to be seen if a backlash will come, as let’s face it, who knows with France.
And with the news that Felipe Contepomi is unlikely to play in the inaugural Rugby Championship later this year, expect Argentina’s maestro to be keen to put on a good show in front of a partisan crowd who will deliver their usual backing at Estadio José Fierro.
ARGENTINA: J Tuculet; F Barrea, A Gosio, F Contepomi (c), M Montero, B Urdapilleta, T Cubelli, L Senatore, T Leonardi, T De la Vega, E Lozada, JF Cabello, F Gomez Kodela, A Bordoy, E Guinazu. Replacements: NT Chaparro, B Postiglioni, S Guzman, B Macome, R Baez, M Landajo, G Ascarate.
FRANCE: B Dulin, B Fall, F Fritz, M Mermoz, Y Huget , F Michalak, M Machenaud, L Picamoles, F Ouedraogo, A Lapandry, Y Maestri, P Pape (c), D Attoub, D Szarzewski, V Debaty. Replacements: C Tolofua, T Domingo, C Samson, W Lauret, M Parra, F Trinh Duc, W Fofana.
Referee: George Clancy(Ireland).