Contepomi leads the way as Argentina humble France

ARGENTINA bounced back from their home series defeat by Scotland in style with a record thrashing of Six Nations champions France in Buenos Aires.

Fly-half Felipe Contepomi led the way with two tries, three conversions and five penalties in a 31-point haul. Number eight Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe scored the Pumas’ opening try and wing Lucas Amorosino also crossed.

France, who fielded a strong side, could only muster two penalties and a second-half try from Julien Malzieu. Their previous worst result against the Pumas was at the 2007 World Cup, when they lost the third-place play-off 34-10, and it was a fourth consecutive defeat for the Tricolores on Argentine soil.

The defeat completed a miserable mini-tour for the Grand Slam champions, who were also hammered 42-17 by South Africa in Cape Town a fortnight ago.

“It’s desolation,” said a stunned France coach Marc Lievremont. “I don’t know how we could sink so badly in these few weeks, to suffer two points records in South Africa and now here in Argentina. I expected tough matches, but these defeats are ridiculous. It was a nightmare.”

France skipper Thierry Dusautoir was equally despondent.

“When you concede 40 points in two successive Tests, there isn’t a lot to say,” he said.

“We can find 50 excuses, but today we came up against a team who were just much stronger than us. We were dominated in all areas and this was our level sadly.

“For a team that has ambitions to be world champions next year, it’s going to be difficult to pick ourselves up from this.”

ARGENTINA: Rodriguez, Amorosino, Tiesi, Fernandez, Carballo, Contepomi, Vergallo; Roncero, Ledesma, Scelzo, Carizza, Albacete, Fessia, Campos, Fernandez Lobbe.

Replacements: Agulla for Fernandez (77), Ayerza for Roncero (62), Creevy for Ledesma (65), Figallo for Scelzo (56), Leguizamon for Campos (55).

FRANCE: Porical, V Clerc, F Fritz, Mazars, J Malzieu, F Trinh-Duc, M Parra; Barcella, D Szarzewski, N Mas, P Pape, L Nallet, T Dusautoir, L Picamoles, J Bonnaire.

Replacements: Poitrenaud for Mazars (50), Yachvili for Parra (61), Guirado for Szarzewski (61), Poux for Mas (72), Pierre for Nallet (50), Lamboley for Bonnaire (50).

Referee: Stuart Dickinson (Australia).

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