2007 Rugby World Cup: Argentina shock France in tournament opener

Friday, September 7, 2007

September 7, 2007
21:00 (UTC+2)
France 12 – 17 Argentina Stade de France, Paris
Referee: Tony Spreadbury
Pen: D Skrela (4) 7', 31', 40', 60' Try: I Corleto 27'
Pen: F Contepomi (4) 5', 10', 24', 34'

Corleto running to french in-goal Image: F Dany

Tournament hosts France slumped to a shock defeat against Argentina in the opening match of the 2007 Rugby World Cup.

France looked shaky, making errors throughout and Argentina took the lead early on through penalties from Felipe Contepomi. Ignacio Corleto scored the only try of the match for Argentina in the 27th minute, but Contepomi missed the conversion, hitting the post. At half time Argentina led by 17 points to 9, with all France's points coming from penalties scored by David Skrela.

Although France improved in the second half, Argentina's strong defence held them off and France were only able to close the lead to five points when David Skrela scored his fourth penalty of the match in the 60th minute. Skrela and his replacement Frederic Michalak both missed penalties, damaging French chances of a comeback.

This is the first time that the French have lost during the pool stages of the World Cup.

2003 champions England start defending their title tomorrow when they play the United States. Australia face Japan while New Zealand, who are one of the favourites to win the tournament, play Italy.