OSAKA – Tremendous in the second half against France, sensational in the first against Tonga, Argentina might just be contenders at this World Cup if they could only put a whole 80 minutes together.
One thing is for certain - they are leaving their coach Mario Ledesma as bemused as their opponents.
After trailing 20-3 at the break in their opener against France last week, the Pumas were on a mission to start well on Saturday against the Tongans in Pool C and they did not disappoint, scoring four tries inside the first half hour on the way to a 28-7 lead at halftime.
But a Tongan resurgence, coupled with the Pumas' loss of focus, saw Mario Ledesma's side fail to score for the rest of the game at the Hanazono Rugby Stadium, the only points of the second half coming courtesy of an unconverted try by the Pacific islanders.
Things could have been even worse for Argentina had referee Jaco Peyper taken a dimmer view of Tomas Lavanini's reckless-looking, shoulder-high challenge on David Halaifonua as the Tongan powered toward the line in the last play of the first half.