Pumas end slump with late burst vs. Italy


4:03 PM GMT

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    ESPN staff

Argentina got back to winning ways but it took a second-half fightback in Florence before they saw off Italy.

Last weekend’s loss to England at Twickenham was Argentina’s seventh in a row, and they arrived in Italy with only one international win under their belt in 2017 — and that against Georgia.

After Juan Martin Hernandez had kicked a 12th-minute penalty to give Argentina the lead, Carlo Canna immediately did the same and then added another midway through the first half to put Italy in front.

However, Argentina were dominating territory and possession and that finally told in the 27th minute when Sebastian Cancelliere crossed for a try after a series of quick penalties. But the missed conversion allowed Canna to move Italy back in front 9-8 with another penalty just after the half-hour mark.

The second half began with a barrage of kicks, points and changes in lead. Nicolas Sanchez kicked three penalties, with Canna hitting one of his own for Italy and scrum-half Marcello Violi landing a drop goal. It meant Argentina led 17-15 entering the final quarter.

Argentina finally took a decisive step towards victory in the 64th minute when Marcos Kremer barrelled over from a ruck five metres out, although there was a needless altercation after the try with Argentina substitute Gonzalo Bertranou getting involved with a couple of Italian players.

The comeback was complete with three minutes to go as Joaquin Truculet crossed for another try, with Sanchez adding the extras.

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