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Watch - Los Pumas centre pulls hamstring but refuses to stop

By Stefan Frost
Jerónimo De La Fuente pulls his hamstring with the line at his mercy

Los Pumas centre Jerónimo De La Fuente scored a sublime solo try against Australia yesterday, beating three defenders immediately after pulling his hamstring.

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The moment of magic came at a crucial point in the first half, when Argentina held a slender 14-10 lead, thanks to tries from Juan Imhoff and prop Thomas Gallo.

Minutes earlier the Wallabies thought they had moved ahead on the scoreboard with a try from flyhalf James O’Connor, but the score was ruled out due to an illegal cleanout earlier in the play.

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Los Pumas responded to the scare imperiously, marching down field into the Australia 22. With a rolling maul constructed, the forwards began powering ahead but scrum half Gonzalo Bertranou opted to take control of the ball and spread it to the backline.

His dart from the maul was met by his inside centre De La Fuente who received a close-range pass and cut a clean diagonal line through the Wallabies defence, stepping hooker Lachlan Lonergan in the process.

At that moment it looked as though the try line was beckoning, but then the unthinkable happened. De La Fuente pulled up sharply and clutched his hamstring for a split second. With the whitewash still in his sights, he decided to fight through the pain and continue charging on, drawing in three Wallabies defenders before touching down.

Any doubt about whether De La Fuente’s injury was genuine, and not a rehearsed trick, was soon put aside when he was replaced in the 24th minute by Lucio Cinti.

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The try proved pivotal in the wider context of the game. Argentina went on to dominate the encounter, scoring a record seven tries against an Australia team that never recovered from their disallowed try.

In the end Los Pumas came out 48-17 winners and held off a late charge from the Wallabies to secure a famous victory in San Juan.

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