Argentina Beats Samoa 19-10 in Hard-Fought Rugby World Cup Match
Argentina emerged victorious with a 19-10 win over Samoa in a hard-fought match at the Rugby World Cup on Friday in Saint Etienne. This victory serves as a redemption for Los Pumas after their defeat against England in the tournament opener.
Emiliano Bofelli Shines as Top Scorer
Emiliano Bofelli, the standout player of the match, scored 16 points and was responsible for the only try for Argentina. Despite their victory, Los Pumas faced more challenges than expected, with Samoa closing in within six points in the final five minutes.
Argentina’s Path to Quarterfinals
With this win, Michael Cheika’s team secures 4 points, just one behind Samoa and Japan in Group D. However, Argentina still has two relatively easier matches against Chile and Japan, which should secure their spot in the quarterfinals as the group’s second-place team, behind England who currently leads with 9 points.
A Hard-Earned Victory
While the victory is a relief for Argentina, it was far from a convincing performance for a team with aspirations of reaching the semifinals. The match highlighted areas for improvement as Los Pumas prepare for the knockout rounds.
Triumph Amidst Challenging Conditions
The match took place under heavy rain and with the majority of the 40,000 spectators at the Geoffrey-Guichard Stadium supporting Argentina. Los Pumas started with a numerical advantage due to a yellow card received by Duncan Paia’aia for a dangerous tackle on Santiago Carreras, the Samoan fullback.
Unlike their previous match against England, where they failed to capitalize on playing with a one-man advantage, Cheika’s team made the most of the situation. In the 8th minute, Emiliano Bofelli scored Argentina’s first try of the World Cup. He also converted the try and added three more points with a penalty, giving Argentina a 10-point lead.
However, the scoreline did not reflect the game on the field, as Argentina made several errors that could have been costly. Christian Leali’ifano, the Samoan captain, missed two seemingly easy penalties, and Marcos Kremer made a crucial tackle just before halftime to prevent a try by Jonathan Taumateine.
16 Points from Bofelli
At halftime, Argentina held a 13-3 lead, setting the stage for a challenging second half. Bofelli extended the lead with another penalty in the 54th minute, making it 16-3. Despite struggling with the slippery ball due to the rain, Argentina’s defense held strong and prevented Samoa from closing the gap on the scoreboard.
However, when the game seemed under control for Argentina, Sama Malolo scored a try for Samoa, narrowing the gap to 16-10 with just five minutes remaining. Fortunately for Los Pumas, the Samoan defense committed a penalty, and Nicolás Sánchez, Argentina’s all-time leading scorer, sealed the victory with a successful kick, ending the match with a score of 19-10.
Argentina-Samoa Technical Details
Here are the technical details of the Rugby World Cup Group D match between Argentina and Samoa:
- Venue: Saint-Etienne (Geoffroy-Guichard Stadium)
- Result: Argentina 19, Samoa 10 (Halftime: 13-3)
- Weather: Cool and rainy
- Pitch: Good
- Attendance: 38,358
- Referee: Nic Berry (AUS)
Argentina: 1 try by Bofelli (9), 1 conversion by Bofelli (10), 4 penalties by Bofelli (25, 34, 54), 1 penalty by Sánchez (80)
Samoa: 1 try by Malolo (75), 1 conversion by Leuila (75), 1 penalty by Lealiifano (28)
Samoa: Paia’aua (1)
Argentina: Mallía – Bofelli, Moroni (Cinti 71), Chocobares, M. Carreras – S. Carreras (Sánchez 67), Betranou (Cubelli 67) – Kremer, González (Bruni 55), Matera – Alemanno, Petti (Rubiolo 62) – Bello (Gómez Kodela 43e), Montoya (cap.) (Creevy 73), Gallo (Vivas 80)
Samoa: Paia’aua (Toala 59) – Ah Wong, Seuteni (Leuila 49), Manu, Lam - Lealiifano, Taumateine - Lee, Luatua (Taufua 60), McFarland – Vui, Aliinuuese (Seu 55e) – P. Alo-Emile (Highway 55e), Lam (Malolo 55), Lay (Firm 55)