Emiliano Boffelli was the difference-maker as Argentina survived a late charge to beat Samoa and reignite their World Cup campaign.
With the Pumas losing to England in their opening Pool D fixture, they needed to beat Samoa to keep alive realistic hopes of progressing into the knockout stages.
They did that with an attritional 19-10 win in Saint-Etienne, with Boffelli delivering all the points.
Any pre-match pressures were eased when Samoa’s Duncan Paia’aua was sent to the sin-bin in the opening minute of the match.
His absence was felt as Argentina hit the front with Boffelli going over in the corner before converting the try.
Three successful penalties from the Edinburgh winger followed, with a Christian Leali’ifano penalty getting Samoa on the board in the first half.
Samoa’s defence held firm in the latter stages as they pushed to get back into the game and Sama Malolo’s try – converted by Alai D’Angelo Leuila – put the cat among the pigeons.
However, Argentina, who finished fourth at the 2015 World Cup but failed to get out of the pool stage in Japan four years ago, held on and wrapped up the win through Nicolas Sanchez’s penalty.
The loss to England presented the possibility of another early exit but securing the points here gives them hope of continuing on and they now face South American rivals Chile in Nantes next Saturday.
Samoa, meanwhile, will now need results against potentially both Japan and England if they are to build on their winning start against Chile.2023-09-22T18:18:30Z dg43tfdfdgfd