Argentina 32 Russia 6
Russia were facing an uphill challenge in this return match against Argentina’s Jaguars following an emphatic 40-20 defeat in Moscow last weekend.
Yet again however, Russia were simply outclassed at Moscow’s Slava stadium by a more skilful side, despite a brave performance.
Russia threw away an early chance to take the lead after three minutes when a penalty was sent wide by Klyuchnikov. Argentina replied straight away three minutes later, a clever sidestep and weaving run allowing scrum half Tomas Cubelli to put the ball between the posts, Iglesias converting for a 7-0 lead.
Another penalty went begging for Russia when Argentina were found offside. Russia continued to show ambition, and only desperate defense on the line, resulting in the ball being held up, stopped a try by the home side.
Russia finally got on the scoreboard after 13 minutes when Argentina were again penalized, this time at the scrum, with Yanushkin on target. Argentina eased further ahead in reply with another penalty, Cubelli slotting it from 40 meters after Russia infringed at the scrum, to make it 10-3.
Russia scored another penalty in injury time, Klyuchnikov getting what were to be Russia’s final points in the match, to close the half at 10-6.
If there was still some hope left for Russia, it was all downhill in the second half. Another simple penalty was missed after four minutes, and Argentina began to take charge, lock Pablo Bouza snatching the ball off a ruck and powering over in the corner to make it 15-6.
Russia kept up the pressure, flanker Viktor Gresev coming close minutes later after a jinking run through the Argentine defense took him within meters of the line. But Argentina succeeded in confounding all Russia’s attacks, repeatedly stealing lineouts and turnovers close to their line.
After 24 minutes the Jaguars landed another blow when a beautiful kick across field was snatched by Estelles to make it 20-6.
He struck again eight minutes later after a clever chip ahead outflanked the Russian defense.
Agustin Gosio grabbed a final try just before the final whistle, converted by Sanchez, handing Argentina a well deserved 32-6 win.
MOSCOW October 31 (RIA Novosti)