Emiliano Boffelli was the hero as Argentina kept their quarter-final hopes alive with a narrow victory over Samoa in Saint-Etienne in Pool D. The full-back scored 16 points, including a try, four conversions and a penalty, as the Pumas held off a brave Samoan challenge that saw them score three tries of their own.
Argentina got off to a good start with a Boffelli penalty, but Samoa responded with a try from winger Ed Fidow, who finished off a smart move after a turnover. Boffelli then scored a try of his own, breaking through the Samoan defence after a quick tap penalty. He added the conversion to make it 10-5.
Samoa equalized with another try from Fidow, who capitalized on a loose ball after Argentina failed to deal with a high kick. However, Argentina regained the lead just before half-time with a try from flanker Pablo Matera, who barged over from close range. Boffelli converted to make it 17-10 at the break.
In the second half, Argentina stretched their lead with two more tries from winger Bautista Delguy and centre Jeronimo de la Fuente, both converted by Boffelli. Samoa did not give up and scored a late consolation try from hooker Motu Matu’u, but it was not enough to stop Argentina from securing a 31-20 win.
Argentina now have two wins from three games and will face France in their final pool match, while Samoa have one win from two games and will face Ireland and Japan in their remaining fixtures.
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