Nicolas Sanchez helps Argentina edge out Italy in Rome
Last Updated: 23/11/13 6:17pm
Nicolas Sanchez (L): Scored 14 of Argentina's 19 points
Nicolas Sanchez kicked 14 points as Argentina scrapped their way to a 19-14 win over Italy at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.
Wing Juan Imhoff scored the only try of the contest for the Pumas, with Sanchez racking up the rest of their points with a conversion, three penalties and a drop goal.
Italy's Michele Campagnaro crossed the try-line on his first international start, but four missed kicks from Tommaso Allan proved to be the hosts' undoing.
Jacques Brunel's side went into the contest on the back of a narrow success over Fiji, while Argentina had been thrashed by Wales last weekend.
It was Italy who made the more potent start, going 6-0 up inside 20 minutes thanks to two penalties from Allan.
But the visitors turned things round to take the lead by powering through the Italy defence to allow Imhoff to touch down, with Sanchez adding the extras.
Italy struggled to get through the Argentina defence and had to rely on the boot of Allan, who slotted over a third three-pointer to put his side in front again.
Sanchez then kicked a penalty of his own to give Argentina a 10-9 lead at half-time and another successful kick from the fly0half extended the advantage in the second half.
But Campagnaro nipped in to snatch the lead back for the hosts with 20 minutes left, although the centre's try went unconverted.
And it was Argentina who made the decisive move in the closing stages, Sanchez kicking a 67th-minute penalty before slotting over a drop goal eight minutes from time.