Saturday, September 08, 2007

Rugby World Cup 2007 - Day 1

France 12 - 17 Argentina

Opening day of the World Cup and the hosts, France - everyone's second favourite to lift the cup after New Zealand, were in action at the Stade de France in Paris. Their opponents, - The Pumas, Argentina.

The expectation was that this would be a match worthy of the opening ceremony with a spirited performance by Argentina, but France coasting to a reasonably comfortable win. Lets face it, France were at their national stadium, performing in front of the fans, what could go wrong.

Unfortunately, Argentina had not read the script. They had the audacity to take the game to France and actually apply pressure leading to uncharacteristic mistakes by the normally dependable backs. This pressure finally led to a French handling error, giving a penalty to Argentina. Inside-centre, Felipe Contepomi stepped up and slotted the kick over the bar to score the first points of the tournament.

France came back quickly to score a penalty of their own, but Argentina had still not learnt due reverence and continued to pester and challenge France, scoring another couple of penalties. Even when France attempted to play their own game, they came unstuck, leading to the first try of the tournament, and the only one of the match, being scored, again, by the Pumas. In, what can only be seen as a desperate attempt to get some movement, Remy Martin threw an interception pass which Argentina's Felipe Contepomi shipped on the ball quickly to racy full-back Corleto, who outpaced the covering defence to score in the right corner.

At half-time, the score was France 9; Argentina 17 and the French nation was in shock.

In a second half dominated by mighty defence and enterprise by Argentina, they restricted the French to just one more 3 point score, and held on to conclude a mighty and historic victory - one, this rugby fanatic will remember for a very long time!

No comments: