The two sides meet again on Friday
The Pumas snatched a dramatic 29-27 victory over a New South Wales Barbarians team with the last kick of their match in La Plata.
Two Sekope Kepu tries at either end of the first half gave the visitors a two-point advantage going into the break.
That lead was extended just six minutes into the second period when wing Peter Betham crossed for NSW’s third try. When fullback Drew Mitchell added another on the 60 minute mark, Michael Cheika’s inexperienced NSW side looked like taking a big scalp against a fully-capped Test outfit, before two tries within four minutes from replacement hooker Agustín Creevy put the home side right back in the contest.
With Nicolás Sánchez and Bernard Foley exchanging penalty goals in the closing 10 minutes, the NSW Barbarians led by a single point going into the final seconds but a last-gasp Sánchez penalty right on the siren eventually sealed the win for the home side.
Despite the loss, the NSW squad can be exceptionally pleased with their performance, pushing their vastly more experience Test opponents all the way, outscoring them by four tries to three and dominating possession for long stretches of the game.
Having gained valuable experience from playing against their Rugby Championship opponents, NSW’s international contingent will fly back to Australia to join the Wallabies training camp.
The remaining BaaBaas squad members will get another crack at the opposition when the two sides meet again on Friday at Estadio Padre Martearena in Salta.
Tries: Agulla , Creevy 2
Pen: Hernández, Sanchez
For NSW Barbarians:
Tries: Kepu 2, Betham, Mitchell
Cons: McKibbin 2, Foley
Argentina: 15 Martín Rodríguez, 14 Gonzalo Camacho, 13 Gonzalo Tiesi, 12 Santiago Fernández, 11 Horacio Agulla, 10 Juan Martin Hernández, 9 Martin Landajo, 8 Leonardo Senatore, 7 Pablo Matera, 6 Juan Martin Fernández Lobbe, 5 Mariano Galarza, 4 Manuel Carizza, 3 Juan Figallo, 2 Eusebio Guiñazú, 1 Marcos Ayerza.
Replacements from: Bruno Postiglioni, Agustín Creevy, Juan Manuel Leguizamón, Marcelo Bosch, Juan Imhoff, Joaquín Tuculet, Matías Díaz, Tomás Cubelli, Felipe Contepomi, Lucas González Amorosino, Benjamín Macome, Tomás Lavanini, Nicolás Sánchez.
NSW Barbarians: 15 Drew Mitchell, 14 Cam Crawford, 13 Usaia O'Sullivan, 12 Rob Horne, 11 Peter Betham, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Brendan McKibbin, 8 Dave Dennis (captain), 7 Pat McCutcheon, 6 Jed Holloway, 5 Mitchell Chapman, 4 Will Skelton, 3 Paddy Ryan, 2 Tolu Latu, 1 Sekope Kepu.
Replacements from : Luke Holmes, Jeremy Tilse, Sam Talaka, Keliti Vangalo, Jack Dempsey, David Horwitz, Alofa Alofa, Alex Gibbon, Tala Gray, David Lolohea, Matt Lucas, Ben Volavola, Michael McDougall.
Referee: Francisco Pastrana
Assistant referees: Juan Hernán Sylvestre, Joaquín Otaño
TMO: Javier Mancuso