With the Top 14 semi-finals being played this weekend, France coach Guy Noves had to do without many of his best players, while Argentina played with a full-strength squad.
While everything looked be in the home sides favour, the game was pretty much in the balance with ten minutes left to play. The French actually led 19-17 after an hour, but then were reduced to 14 men after Jefferson Poirot was sin-binned for deliberately knocking the ball on.
The sides traded penalties to open the match, then Argentina found themselves with numbers out wide before winger Manuel Montero touched down. Nicolas Sanchez converted to give the home side a 10-3 lead after twenty minutes.
Montero then turned provider when he put Joaquín Tuculet in the clear to score.
Just minutes later Remi Bonfils touched down for France after a maul by their forwards. Jules Plisson converted to leave the score at half-time, Argentina 17 France 10.
Three straight penalties from Plisson had the French in front, until Poirot’s yellow card. Indiscipline then hurt the French as they conceded a couple of penalties, both made by Sanchez.
Then, seven minutes from time Argentina lock Guido Petti found himself in the clear at half-way and showed great pace to run the whole way to the line to score.
Argentina won the game 30 points to 19, but France will take a lot from this game, and were probably just a little unfortunate not to have claimed the win.