France routs Pumas 27-0 in rainy 2nd test to level series

26 June 2016, 12:00AM

France squared the rugby series in Argentina by routing the Pumas 27-0 in a rainy second test on Saturday.

France ended a four-match losing run dating back to the Six Nations, and blanked Argentina for the first time since their first test in 1949.

The Pumas last failed to score a point 16 years ago, and last failed at home in 1952.

The result brought a sober end to a home series which included a win over Italy, and a first-test win over France a week ago on the same ground.

But the Pumas didn't fire a single shot, or even had a penalty kick at goal. Virtually the same team which won 30-19 in style last weekend was lethargic in the rain and heavy ground.

Meanwhile, France grew in confidence the longer the match went on, keeping it suitably tight in the conditions in the first half, and romping home in the third quarter, when they zoomed from 10-0 at halftime to 27-0.

It was only 3-0 until right on halftime when France stole a Pumas lineout throw-in outside its own 22. France then worked the phases, before watching scrumhalf Baptiste Serin hare down the sideline and pass inside for winger Hugo Bonneval to finish. Serin, who converted five of his six goalkicks, made it 13-0 after halftime with a goal from a scrum penalty.

From another scrum, France worked it so flyhalf Francois Trinh-Duc, starting after Jules Plisson was dropped, offloaded for midfielder Remy Lamerat to crash over.

France was rampant. Fullback Maxime Medard had a try ruled out for an illegal clean-out, and prop Jefferson Poirot was heading to the posts when Argentina's Martin Landajo knocked the ball from his grasp. No matter, another scrum penalty was quick-tapped by Louis Picamoles and fellow loose forward Loann Goujon busted over.

Argentina lock Tomas Lavanini, just back from a two-game suspension for a shoulder charge, was sin-binned for kneeing Goujon after he scored. He was suspended for a week for the same offense in February in Super Rugby.

But France couldn't take advantage of an extra man, and Argentina, finally inspired, woke up too late.

26 June 2016, 12:00AM

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