Argentina keep sights set on RWC quarter final

On a day where the the Brave Blossoms of Japan and the Oaks of Romania came closest to achieving the Rugby World Cup’s first upset Argentina came the closest.

A day after an opening ceremony England edged Argentina 13-9, France beat Japan 47-21, Scotland needed two late tries to hold off Romania 34-24 and Fiji held out stout Namibia 49-25.

Argentina furnished the first upset of the 2007 World Cup when they beat host France in its opening pool game and it came close to repeating that feat when it led 2003 champion England for 66 minutes.

In a game punctuated by 27 penalties, 16 against the Pumas, Argentina fashioned a 9-3 lead on goalkicks before England sunk them with the only try of the match to replacement scrumhalf Ben Youngs.

The match was notable for the failure of goalkickers on both sides to exploit numerous chances.

Jonny Wilkinson, who kicked England to its 2003 Cup victory, managed three from eight, while Argentina’s Felipe Contepomi and Martin Rodriguez jointly missed five shots at goal. England also incurred the first yellow card of the tournament, to prop Dan Cole after repeated infringements from the forward pack.

Contepomi said Argentina should have fared better against an England team that missed 14 tackles.

“I think we were competitive, we didn’t take our chances when we could but now this is a long tournament that I think we started well and we have to continue in the same way,” he said.

“Hopefully, we can win the next three games and go through to the quarterfinals.”

A relieved England Captain Mike Tindall said they had expected Argentina to put up s strong challenge.

“We were under no illusions about what Argentina can bring,” England captain Mike Tindall said.

“We knew how good their pack was. They squeezed and squeezed and eeked out penalties. Lucky today, not one of the kickers could kick.”

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