Rugby

Dominant France down Argentina

2016-06-25 22:35
Guy Noves (Getty)

Tucuman - France snapped a four-match losing streak under coach Guy Noves by defeating Argentina 27-0 in Tucuman Saturday to draw a two-Test series.

The Pumas, who won 30-19 at the same ground six days ago, were outplayed throughout by visitors lacking many stars on French Top 14 knockout stage duty.

Noves, winner of four European and 10 French titles with Toulouse, succeeded Philippe Saint-Andre after France were thrashed by New Zealand in the 2015 Rugby World Cup quarter-finals.

After starting his reign with narrow Six Nations wins over Italy and Ireland, he suffered losses to Wales, Scotland and England in the same competition, and to Argentina.

Argentine ill discipline continued with lock Tomas Lavanini, returning from a Super Rugby suspension, sin-binned during the second half for sticking his knee into the back of Loann Goujon after he scored.

France were forced to make a last-minute change with winger Xavier Mignot withdrawing to be replaced by Hugo Bonneval, one of the first Test starters who had been axed.

The visitors had two chances to take the lead from penalties inside 10 minutes on a badly cut-up Estadio Monumental Jose Fierro pitch.

But scrum-half Baptiste Serin and centre Gael Fickou failed on a cool, overcast afternoon in the northern city.

Serin saw his close-range angled kick drift across the posts while Fickou was just short with a brave attempt from the halfway line.

The deadlock was broken on 26 minutes when Serin slotted a penalty after calmly placing the ball back on the tee when it fell off.

Argentina had several line-out throws stolen and were less solid than France in the scrums.

The hosts fell further behind a minute before half-time when a Serin break down the right wing set up Bonneval to cross the try-line.

Serin converted for a 10-0 half-time lead and kicked his second penalty of the match five minutes after the break to stretch the advantage.

The scrum-half was outstanding and when Pumas fly-half Nicolas Sanchez put a clever kick over the French defence, Serin came to the rescue with a timely mark.

Dominant France went 20 points ahead seven minutes after half-time when centre Remi Lamerat scored his first Test try and Serin converted amid whistling and jeers.

France won a scrum and a show-and-go from fly-half Francois Trinh-Duc set up Lamerat to dot down.

Serin completed the scoring on 63 minutes by converting a try from Goujon, who barged over from close range.

Read more on:    argentina  |  france  |  guy noves  |  rugby
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