Pumas battle past France

Argentina beat a weakened France 30-19 in the first Test in Tucumán on Sunday.

France coach Guy Novès was unable to select players from the Top 14 semi-finalists resulting in an inexperienced team featuring seven new caps.

Argentina led 17-10 at the break thanks to tries from winger Manuel Montero and fullback Joaquín Tuculet, with hooker Rémi Bonfils' try keeping the visitors in the contest.

The second half was dominated by the boots of flyhalves Nicolás Sánchez and Jules Plisson as both teams were heavily penalised by referee John Lacey.

Argentina only secured the result with five minutes remaining when an attack from deep led to a converted try to lock Guido Petti.

Argentina – Tries: Matías Montero, Joaquín Tuculet, Guido Petti. Conversions: Nicolás Sánchez (3). Penalties: Sánchez (3).
France – Try: Rémi Bonfils. Conversion: Jules Plisson. Penalties: Plisson (4).

Argentina – 15 Joaquín Tuculet, 14 Santiago Cordero, 13 Matías Moroni, 12 Juan Martín Hernandez, 11 Manuel Montero, 10 Nicolás Sánchez, 9 Martín Landajo, 8 Facundo Isa, 7 Tomás Lezana, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Javier Ortega Desio, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Ramiro Herrera, 2 Agustín Creevy (c), 1 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro.
Subs: 16 Julián Montoya, 17 Santiago García Botta, 18 Enrique Pieretto, 19 Ignacio Larrague, 20 Juan Manuel Leguizamón, 21 Tomás Cubelli, 22 Santiago González Iglesias , 23 Ramiro Moyano.

France – 15 Hugo Bonneval, 14 Xavier Mignot, 13 Julien Rey, 12 Jonathan Danty, 11 Djibril Camara, 10 Jules Plisson (c), 9 Baptiste Serin, 8 Kevin Gourdon, 7 Raphaël Lakafia, 6 Loann Goujon, 5 William Demotte, 4 Julien Ledevedec, 3 Rabah Slimani, 2 Rémi Bonfils, 1 Jefferson Poirot.
Subs: 16 Clément Maynadier, 17 Uini Atonio, 18 Lucas Pointud, 19 Fabrice Metz, 20 Louis Picamoles, 21 Sébastien Bézy, 22 François Trinh-Duc, 23 Gaël Fickou.

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Simon Borchardt