Los Pumas put boot into France

Argentina flyhalf Nicolás Sánchez kicked 15 points, including three drop goals, to help his side to an 18-13 victory over France in Paris on Saturday.

The Argentinian approach may not have won much favour from the French crowd, but that worried them not as they picked up their first victory on French soil since the 2007 World Cup. They took their points when they were on offer and built up a commanding lead during a niggly first half.

France, in total contrast to their performance against Australia last week, were second best in the first 40 minutes. They found themselves trailing 15-3 and had to be separated from their opponents while making their way down the tunnel.

Sánchez extended Argentina's lead at the start of the second half with his third drop goal, before France finally sparked into life following a number of substitutions. Among them, Rory Kockott added greater direction to the French attack after replacing the inconsistent Sébastien Tillous-Borde.

Their response came through a Wesley Fofana try, before a Kockott penalty brought them within one score of the visitors with 17 minutes remaining. It all came down to the final play of the match as Scott Spedding steamrolled his way over the tryline in search of what would've proved a match-winning try. The ball, however, was held up by a gang of Pumas tacklers, sparking scenes of jubilation for the visitors at the final whistle.

France Try: Wesley Fofana. Conversion: Camille Lopez. Penalties: Lopez, Rory Kockott.
Argentina Penalties: Nicolás Sánchez (2). Drop goals: Sánchez (3), Juan Martín Hernández.

France 15 Scott Spedding, 14 Yoann Huget, 13 Maxime Mermoz, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Maxime Médard, 10 Camille Lopez, 9 Sébastien Tillous-Borde, 8 Damien Chouly, 7 Bernard le Roux, 6 Thierry Dusautoir (c), 5 Sébastien Vahaamahina, 4 Pascal Papé, 3 Nicolas Mas, 2 Benjamin Kayser, 1 Xavier Chiocci.
Subs: 16 Guilhem Guirado, 17 Alexandre Menini, 18 Uini Atonio, 19 Yoann Maestri, 20 Charles Ollivon, 21 Rory Kockott, 22 Rémi Talès, 23 Mathieu Bastareaud.

Argentina – 15 Joaquín Tuculet, 14 Juan Imhoff, 13 Marcelo Bosch, 12 Juan Martín Hernández, 11 Manuel Montero, 10 Nicolás Sánchez, 9 Tomás Cubelli, 8 Leonardo Senatore, 7 Javier Ortega Desio, 6 Facundo Isa, 5 Tomás Lavanini, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 2 Agustín Creevy (c), 1 Marcos Ayerza.
Subs: 16 Matías Cortese, 17 Lucas Noguera Paz, 18 Ramiro Herrera, 19 Lucas Ponce, 20 Tomás Lezana, 21 Martín Landajo, 22 Santiago González Iglesias, 23 Lucas González Amorosino.

Photo: Lionel Bonaventure/AFP Photo