France had to work hard to defeat Argentina 12-6 on Saturday and take their revenge on the Pumas who beat the World Cup hosts a year ago.
David Skrela scored all of France's points to see them to a gritty but welcome victory over their bogey team Argentina in a 12-6 win here on Saturday.
The Toulouse fly-half kicked a drop goal and three penalties while Argentina - who had beaten the hosts in six of their last seven matches including twice at the World Cup last year - relied on two penalties from captain Felipe Contepomi.
France opened the scoring in the 13th minute through Skrela as he dropped a goal from 20 metres - just minutes after the Argentinians had missed a penalty through Contepomi.
The Argentinians were not playing fluently at all in the first-half, Contepomi's rare miss with the penalty evidence of that, and when Juan Martin Hernandez drilled a clearing kick straight into touch just after the 20 minute mark, the player known as the 'Magic Man' said it all with the shake of his head.
However, they did draw level in the 28th minute when French No 8 Louis Picamoles was penalised by referee Jonathan Kaplan and Contepomi this time took his opportunity.
Skrela, though, restored the hosts three-point lead a minute later with a finely-taken penalty and extended it in the 33rd minute with a superb one from long distance.
Contepomi had rediscovered his kicking touch and landed a stunning penalty from wide out on the left four minutes from the half-time whistle to keep the Pumas well in contact.
The second-half yielded little for the first 15 minutes or so save that rather surprisingly captain Lionel Nallet was replaced by France's iconic figure from the 2007 World Cup Sebastien Chabal - shortly before centre Benoit Baby missed a kickable penalty.
Both sides battered away at each other for the rest of the half but found little leeway in breaking through either team's defences save for a final minute penalty from Skrela.
Date created : 2008-11-08