Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Rugby World Cup 2007 - France vs Argentina

September 07, 2007 was the day that Argentina gave the rugby world a massive wake up call when Los Pumas defeated France 17-12 to open Rugby World Cup 2007 with a bang.

 Argentina had defeated France four times in a row before losing 27-26 in Paris in November 2006. Despite this, Argentina were still expected by most to be beaten comfortably by France in Rugby World Cup 2007´s first match. Argentina had assembled a powerful pack who were as good as any who were controlled by veteran scrum-half and captain, Agustin Pichot.

Argentina had long had dominant forwards but what Pichot had outside him was the difference. Pichot had been playing the previous 4 years at his French club, Stade Français with Juan Martín Hernández. In the 2006-2007 Top 14 final Hernández was the star and he gave Argentina a superb defensive and offensive player at flyhalf.

Argentina moved him from fullback to flyhalf which also meant Felipe Contepomi would play inside centre to give Argentina a vastly superior set of attacking playmakers at 10 and 12. With Hernández playing at flyhalf, Argentina could once again select Ignacio Corleto at fullback. These four mentioned players were the star backs of Argentina throughout Rugby World Cup 2007 and they all contributed heavilly to France´s downfall in the match that started Rugby World Cup 2007.

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