South Africa Secures Fourth Rugby World Cup Title in Thrilling…
In a gripping showdown in Saint-Etienne within Pool D, Argentina fought fiercely to keep their quarter-final dreams alive, clinching a hard-fought victory over Samoa. Emiliano Boffelli emerged as the hero, contributing a total of 16 points to the Pumas’ triumph, making amends for their initial setback against England. The rain-soaked Stade Geoffroy-Guichard bore witness to a determined Argentine side, with Boffelli converting his own try and expertly slotting three crucial penalties.
Although Samoa’s Sama Malolo displayed a late surge, Nicolas Sanchez’s precision in delivering a pivotal penalty ultimately secured the win for Argentina. Notably, former Australian fly-half Christian Leali’ifano faced struggles in the first half, missing two out of three penalties, while Argentina led with a 10-point advantage at halftime. Despite this monumental victory, Argentina maintains its fourth-place position in the standings, with England leading the pack and Samoa closely trailing in second.
High expectations surrounded Argentina in this World Cup, following their historic away win in New Zealand the previous year and recent triumphs over England and Australia on foreign soil. However, they found themselves on the back foot against England’s 14-man squad, struggling to adapt to the conditions amidst George Ford’s kicking prowess. The wet conditions in Saint-Etienne foreshadowed a game marked by errors, with limited attacking opportunities.
The game’s early turning point came when Samoa’s full-back Duncan Paia’aua was sent to the sin-bin for a needless tackle on Santiago Carreras in the air, affording Argentina a numerical advantage. Seizing the opportunity, Emiliano Boffelli cut inside against the traffic to score a crucial try, converting it himself and adding two first-half penalties to chip away at the scoreboard.
Despite Samoa’s spirited defense, they lacked cohesion in attack in the second half as Boffelli extended Argentina’s lead with another three points. The tide briefly turned when replacement hooker Malolo bulldozed his way over the line, marking the first try conceded by Argentina in the tournament. Alai D’Angelo Leuila’s successful conversion brought Samoa within six points, igniting hopes of a comeback.
However, Argentina’s composure prevailed as Nicolas Sanchez sealed the victory with a last-gasp, long-range penalty, ensuring that Samoa left empty-handed. This result may prove pivotal in the intense battle for quarter-final qualification, as Samoa was denied a crucial losing bonus point. Argentina’s journey in the World Cup remains one of resilience and determination, as they aim to fulfill their high aspirations on the global stage.
Pool D | Argentina 19:10 Samoa
TRIES Emiliano Boffelli (9′)
CONV Emiliano Boffelli (10′)
PENS Emiliano Boffelli (25′, 34′, 54′), Nicolas Sanchez (80′
TRIES Sama Malolo (75′)
CONV Alai D’Angelo Leuila (75′)
PENS Christian Leali’ifano (28′)
Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, Saint-Étienne
Man of the match:
Antoine Dupont (France)
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