France 12 - Argentina 17
Bernard Laporte must be fuming! This morning (NZ time), 15 plucky Argentinians turned up and rained on France's opening ceremony parade by playing a game of tenacious defence and passion.
If the old cliche about Les Bleus: 'you never know which French team will turn up' is true - then certainly the French D team were out in force last night. I thought France were particularly let down by poor handling, nerves and lack of game plan. This probably wasn't helped by a very average first five combination of Mignoni and Skrela (surely Laporte can find someone better than these haphazard 'generals')? Their slow decision making and sloppy skills let down an entire backline that had limited chances to get in front of the gain line or produce any kind of flow.
In contrast - Argentina had it all over the French from explosiveness to backchat. Half back Augustin Pichot and fly half Juan Martin Hernandez out thought their opposites and directed the game fearlessly. Rallying their troops to never give up; Contempori slotted goal after goal in the first half, and a stunning breakaway try (the only one of the match) by Igancio Corleto must mean Los Pumas surely fancy their chances as this Rugby World Cup tournament begins.
For Match Report and Stats - check out Matt @ Green and Gold Rugby.