France 12 – 17 Argentina
Well, that changes the script somewhat, doesn’t it?
Argentina well deserved their win tonight, as they just took the game to France, and the French had no reply. In fact, I think the French underestimated the Argentinean challenge. They obviously thought that Argentina would be strong up front and lacking in the backs, hence the decision to have five forwards and only two backs on the bench.
Argentina immediately took advantage of the fact that France had a non-full back at full back. They “did a Munster” and hoisted high ball into Heymans, which he fluffed nearly every time. The Pumas’ defence was superb, especially on their own line, as there was one point in the second half where France mauled their way up the park and camped on the Argentinean line. I was sure that a French score was going to come out of this, but fair play to the Pumas, they kept them out.
From an Irish point view, this is both a good and a bad result. Good in that we will come into the French game on the back of two bonus point wins (we bleedin’ hope so anyway), with our tails up. France will have to win that game to stay in the competition, and if Irish heads can stay calm, we should be able to send them, er, home. The bad way of looking at it is that they will be fired up and seeing as Eddie O’Sullivan has yet to work out how to beat France, we could get annihilated on their bounce.
We should still be able to beat the Argies, though. Their set pice wasn’t up to much, and if Ireland can control possession, then we should have the upper hand.
This could be the greatest World Cup ever, yet.