Fumbling France down Pumas

David Skrela kicked nine points as France beat Argentina 12-6 in a tryless match at the Stade Velodrome.

It only France’s second victory over the Argentines in the last eight outings and again they were made to work hard by the feisty South Americans.

The victory was not pretty, but at least it is a small degree of revenge for the French after a couple of defeats to the Pumas in last year’s World Cup. There were only three points scored in the second half - a late penalty from Skrela - and in truth neither side looked likely of crossing the whitewash throughout the 80 minutes.

Rain in Marseilles in the lead-up to the match ensured difficult underfoot conditions for the teams, and both opted for the conservative use of the boot on most occasions. Flyhalves Skrela and Juan Martin Hernandez were liberal in their use of the garryowen, while the many attempted drop-kicks were met with boos from the crowd towards the end of the game.

Skrela produced a snap drop and two penalties, while centre Benoit Baby kicked a long-distance penalty to counter Argentine captain Felipe Contepomi’s couple of three-pointers.

France- Penalties: David Skrela (2), Benoit Baby. Dropped-goal: Skrela.

Argentina- Penalties: Felipe Contepomi (2).