Late Argentina try knocks Scottish hopes, Ireland win
Argentina’s Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino broke Scottish hearts yesterday with a dramatic late try as the Pumas moved towards the World Cup quarter-finals with a nail-biting 13-12 victory.
With seven minutes remaining, Amorosino stepped off the right wing and jinked past four defenders for the game’s only try, before captain Felipe Contepomi showed nerves of ice to kick the decisive conversion.
It was a cruel defeat for Scotland, who led 6-3 at half-time and then kicked two drop goals through Ruaridh Jackson and Dan Parks to be 12-6 ahead before Amorosino’s well-taken score.
Scotland coach Andy Robinson said his team were “absolutely devastated” by the result, which leaves them level on points with Argentina but facing a final Pool B game against England, while the Pumas take on minnows Georgia.
“It’s one lapse, 30 seconds of concentration that cost us a Test match,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ireland walloped Russia 62-12 to stay in charge of Pool C, while Samoa sank Pacific rivals Fiji’s hopes with a 27-7 win in Auckland as the third weekend of action wrapped up.
In Rotorua, second-string Ireland ran nine tries past Russia in an exhilarating work-out before the showdown with Six Nations rivals Italy.
The Irish will try to lock up Pool C with victory over the Azzurri in Dunedin next Sunday, after shocking Australia in the tournament’s biggest upset so far.
“We always knew that the Italy game was going to be vital for us to try and get out of the group,” Ireland coach Declan Kidney said.
“The fact that we find ourselves in a winner-take-all situation... next Sunday it’s just like a final.”
Samoa pounded Fiji’s dreams to dust in Auckland which earned them a shot at the quarter-finals in their final pool game against champions South Africa.
Fly-half Tusi Pisi kicked Samoa to a 12-0 lead in an abrasive first half before they outscored Fiji two tries to one in the second period to dash their arch-rivals’ hopes of a second successive place in the last eight.
The match was played against the colourful backdrop of 60,327 fans, mostly members of Auckland’s expatriate Pacific community, but wet conditions hampered free-running Fiji who slumped to their second loss in the “Pool of Death”.
Samoa now have an outside chance of reaching their first quarter-final in 16 years with victory on Friday against the Springboks, or even a solitary bonus point if Fiji can repeat their feat of the 2007 World Cup and beat Wales on Sunday.
Meanwhile, France grappled with the fall-out of their heavy, 37-17 defeat to New Zealand as coach Marc Lievrement angrily hit out at journalists and accused them of wanting his team to lose.
“Go to hell with your question!” Lievremont told a journalist who asked if France could win the World Cup.
“I really regret the detestable atmosphere that we have at these press conferences. Often I come out annoyed and upset because I sense this atmosphere,” the coach added.
Pool B: England (3-0-0) 14; Argentina (2-0-1) 10; Scotland (2-0-1) 10; Georgia (0-0-1) 0; Romania (0-0-1) 0.
Pool C: Ireland (3-0-0) 13; Australia (2-0-1) 10; Italy (1-0-1) 5; USA (1-0-2) 4; Russia (0-0-3) 1.
Pool D: S. Africa (3-0-0) 14; Samoa (2-0-1) 10; Wales (1-0-1) 5; Fiji (1-0-2) 5; Namibia (0-0-3) 0.