Flyhalf Nicolas Sanchez led Argentina to a 30-19 win over France in Tucuman, in the first of two tests. The experimental French team trailed 17-3 at halftime before coming back into the contest, but 15 points from the boot of Sanchez and a stunning try by lock Guido Petti secured the win.
A number fo French players were missing due to the Top 14 season still going on, meaning that coach Guy Noves had to field seven uncapped players.
The loss means that France drop to ninth in the World Rankings, facing the possibility of being in the third seeding pot for the 2019 Rugby World Cup draw. They have until May to improve on that.
The two teams will meet again in Tucuman on Saturday for the deciding Test.
A week earlier Argentina, packed with Jaguares players, beat Italy. View those highlights here