Controversial Pumas star Matera grabs first Top 14 try

Paris (AFP) –


Argentina star Pablo Matera scored his first try for French Top 14 side Stade Francais on Sunday as he continues to rehabilitate his image after a racism row saw him suspended as Pumas captain.

The flanker crossed for a maiden score, breaking through from 10 metres after half an hour of Sunday's 29-9 win over Castres.

On an eventful night, Matera was later sin-binned in the first half before being replaced with 15 minutes left.

Earlier in January, Matera said he was just "an immature boy" when he posted tweets deemed to be racist in 2011 and 2013 and which saw him briefly suspended by the Pumas.

The flanker had been a key player as Argentina shocked the All Blacks during the Rugby Championship in Australia where the furore erupted.

Matera, Jaguares hooker Santiago Socino and Bordeaux lock Guido Petti, were all briefly suspended for what were described as "discriminatory" and "xenophobic" posts.

However, just two days after Argentine rugby officials said the tweets were "unacceptable" the three were reinstated when it was reported other players would strike in support of their teammates.

Stade's other tries on Sunday came from fellow back-rower Sekou Macalou who scored in quick succession in the last three minutes.

The French international was playing for the first time since December 6 when he was injured in the Autumn Nations Cup final against England at Twickenham.

"Sekou had a remarkable return. After just one week of training, he is already at a high level," said Stade coach Gonzalo Quesada.

Stade are eighth in the table, just two points off the top six play-off spots while Castres remain 11th.