KUMAGAYA – Argentina ended a disappointing World Cup campaign on a high as they ran in seven tries to hammer the United States 47-17 with a sometimes scintillating display in their final Pool C game on Wednesday.
The Pumas, whose qualification hopes were ended by defeats at the hands of France and England, picked a young team and the newcomers took their chance to play with confidence and ambition that left the Americans clutching at shadows.
There were two tries each for Joaquin Tuculet and man-of-the-match centre Juan Cruz Mallia, while recalled flyhalf Nicholas Sanchez, Jeronimo De La Fuente and Gonzalo Bertranou also scored to secure their ninth win in nine meetings with the U.S.
They finish third in the pool with 11 points from their wins over Tonga and the U.S. but that represented a considerable step backwards for the 2015 semi-finalists, especially on the back of such an impressive Super Rugby campaign by The Jaguares.
The U.S., who have now managed only three wins in their 26 World Cup games, will hope to end with a fourth from their final game against Tonga but will have to dramatically improve their defence after missing almost 50 tackles on Wednesday.