Contepomi leads Argentina to victory over Italy

Felipe Contepomi became Argentina’s record point-scorer with a 22-point haul in leading his side to a 37-22 win over Italy in their one-off rugby test in San Juan on Saturday.

Contepomi needed only three points to pass Pumas record-holder Hugo Porta, who retired in 1990, and the captain nailed his chance with a penalty in the 23rd minute.

Contepomi added two more penalties, and converted four of their tries, including his own, to lift his tally to 610 points in 76 tests. The great Porta scored 590 in 58.

Thanks to Contepomi, the Pumas overcame early errors on defence and Italy’s domination to finish the first half 13-10 up.

Italy led 10-3 early on thanks to a penalty try when Argentina lock Julio Farias Cabello was sin-binned and the scrum collapsed in front of its tryline.

Argentina finally grabbed the lead in the 32nd with a try to flanker Tomas Leonardi.

Italy trailed only 16-15 in the 53rd after scrumhalf Edoardo Gori’s try off a tighthead, but Argentina reeled off three straight tries to seal the result.

Winger Belisario Agulla broke out, Contepomi supported and passed inside for veteran prop Rodrigo Roncero to score.

Scrumhalf Martin Landajo set up No. 8 Leonardo Senatore for another converted try in the 64th to make it 30-15, and the captain added his own try with eight minutes to go.

Italy crossed late through flanker Mauro Bergamasco but couldn’t prevent a third straight defeat to the Pumas.

“Of course there were mistakes, mostly in the scrum, but I think we accomplished what we set out to do,” Roncero said.

Argentina will reload its squad with more European-based players to face France in tests on the next two Saturdays.

Italy moves on to play Canada in Toronto on Friday.

Final Score Argentina 37 (13) Italy 22 (10)


Tries : Tomas Leonardi, Rodrigo Roncero, Leonardo Senatore, Felipe Contepomi
Pen : Contepomi 3
Con : Contepomi 4

Tries :Edoardo Gori, Mauro Bergamasco
Pen : Kris Burton
Con : Kris Burton, Riccardo Bocchino


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