Eight man Argentina were forced to forfeit the first quarter final to France with six minutes remaining after five of their skaters fouled out.
It was always going to be a test of Argentina’s fitness and ability to avoid penalties in their first full length bout at the tournament.
The game was a scrappy affair to begin with as both team’s skaters took tumbles on the sport court surface and neither walls seemed able to stay together for long.
The French deployed a fearsome jamming rotation of the acrobatic Killian David (Mr Furieux), the physical Cleaner and the agile Rocket’Busch.
Argentina meanwhile were able to call on crowd favourite El Pibe and Castillo on their main jammer rotation. Both used their small size and speed to great advantage, with Castillo in particular matching Killian for juking ability and El Pibe dipping beneath incoming shoulder checks.
Despite some closely scored early jams France began to take control of the game, with their quick, punchy offensive play scattering the Argentinian blockers. The Argentinians also began to pick up penalties quickly and rarely had all four on the track for much of the first period.
The South Americans pulled no punches though and took the fight to the French, throwing in some effective and tough looking shoulder checks to rattle the jammers. Jose Sanchez and Maya Yanus also exchanged big blows on the outside line as Castillo danced around them, much to the crowd’s delight.
Come half time the French led, 166-38.
The second half got off to a dramatic start as both sides exchanged power jams and Argentina lost two of their skaters to foul outs in successive jams.
Argentina started strongly with a five point jam but France responded immediately with a 25 point jam from Rocket’Busch after Castillo was sent to the penalty box. Killian David then added a further twenty points before cutting the track on turn three and picking up an additional penalty for an illegal procedure in the penalty box.
At the same time Donnet fouled out for Argentina while at the jam start El Pibe made the most of Killian’s misfortune to pinch 20 points from the power jam. In the following jam Rafael Guevara fouled out for Argentina, reducing their numbers to only six and putting strain on their line-ups.
The crowd were frenzied, screaming for both Argentina and France, especially when Killian duelled with Sir Ar2 after leaving the pack simultaneously and again when the aptly named The Beast donned the star helmet cover to jam for Argentina.
With fifteen minutes remaining a third Argentinian fouled out, the effective jammer Castillo, leaving the blue and white stripes with only five skaters to see out the rest of the game. The task was too big to handle though and Optimus Quad fouled out with six minutes remaining, forcing a forfeit.
Optimus was embraced by the French fans and substitute skaters as he left the track and the game ended Argentina 102, France 310. France will now play the winner of England versus Australia in Sunday’s semi-finals.