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Tactical Argentina stun France in Paris

Argentina produced a tactical masterclass to beat France 18-13 at the Stade de France in Paris on Saturday.

Tactical Argentina stun France in Paris
Photo: Frank Fife/AFP

The Pumas scored four drop goals and dominated the majority of a turgid contest to end their November tour on a high.

France came within inches of snatching a potentially match-winning try deep into added time, but South African-born full-back Scott Spedding was held up over the line.

Had they scored that, and converted it to snatch an unlikely victory, it would have been hard on an enterprising Argentina that dominated in almost every aspect of the game and aligned an almost impenetrable light-blue and white wall in front of France's runners.

It was their first win in France since the 2007 World Cup, and richly deserved.

"We're very happy, we played a spectacular match. We're a young team that gives everything and we gave everything we had," said Pumas full-back Joaquin Tuculet.

"It's a great pleasure, we played badly against Scotland but now we have to be happy with this win."

The hosts may have come into the clash brimming with confidence following wins over Fiji (40-15) and Australia (29-26) but they were given a tactical lesson in the first half.

France coach Philippe Saint-Andre said his side lost the match in the first half hour, at the end of which they trailed 15-0.

"We weren't surprised by Argentina's performance, during the week we told the players that they (Argentina) have the level of a southern hemisphere side," he said.

"The only thing was that we were totally absent in the first half hour. We were dominated at the breakdown and in terms of dynamism."

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RUGBY

French rugby mourns death of fourth young player in months

French rugby was left mourning the death of a 23-year-old student on Monday, the fourth young player to have died in eight months.

French rugby mourns death of fourth young player in months
Photo: AFP

Nathan Soyeux, who was not registered with the French rugby federation (FFR), passed away in Dijon on Sunday, having been admitted to hospital after an adverse reaction to a tackle in a match at a tournament for engineering schools on November 24.

Soyeux sustained the blow whilst being tackled by an opponent and was at first able to sit up before complaining of nausea and then losing consciousness.

Taken to Dijon hospital, the player was put in an induced coma for two weeks, but his health deteriorated following efforts to bring him around, according to his engineering school, Esirem.

Soyeux becomes the fourth young French player since May to die after being injured during a match.

In December, Stade Francais youth flanker Nicolas Chauvin, 18, died after breaking his neck. In August Louis Fajfrowski, 21, died following a heavy tackle playing for Aurillac and in May 17-year-old Adrien Descrulhes passed away a day after receiving a blow to the head playing for amateur club Billom.

Chauvin's death prompted France's Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu to call on rugby authorities to make the game safer, with the former Olympic swimmer saying she would meet FFR president Bernard Laporte to discuss ways of preventing more deaths.

The FFR confirmed in December it will put together a global forum alongside World Rugby, the sport's governing body, to discuss player health and the evolution of the game's laws in March 2019 in France.

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