Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Top 14: Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro joins Lyon

Photo A Pleno Rugby
As rumored earlier in the month French Top 14 club Lyon has been looking into acquiring the services of Argentine international Francisco Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro. French sources have now confirmed that the twenty-five year old Pumas tighthead prop will indeed be joining the club as a medical joker in place of the injured Wian  Du Prez. With the South African requiring ankle surgery Tetaz Chaparro is to replace him at the club as a medical joker. The move will see the Argentine front-rower playing in France for a second time. 

Guinness Pro 12: Lucas González Amorosino joins Cardiff Blues

Photo Rafaela XV
The professional playing future of Argentine outside back Lucas González Amorosino has been confirmed. Having previously played for Leicester in the Aviva Premiership and for Montpellier and Oyonnax in the Top 14 González Amorosino is now to complete the European triple by playing in the Guinness Pro 12. The twenty-eight year old has signed a contract to play the 2014-2015 season in Wales for the Cardiff Blues. He will therefore have a full season of elite level rugby under him before Rugby World Cup 2015 and the possibility will subsequently exist of him then playing for the Argentine Super Rugby franchise. 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Top 14: Maximiliano Bustos no longer allowed to play for Montpellier

Photo Sin Mordaza
The professional future of Argentine tighthead prop Maximilano Bustos is uncertain as his Cervical Disc Herniation injury has been classified as 'G3'. Under French law the categorization of G3 means one is deemed not fit to play. Sources in France are now reporting that the Puma is to be forced into an early retirement at just twenty-eight years of age. It is a similar case to that of Juan Figallo who moved from Montpellier to Saracens this season due to not getting his injury cleared as a 'G2'. 

Rugby Championship: Horacio Agulla Ends Try Scoring Drought

Photo Taringa
Horacio Agulla's bad luck came to an end on Saturday as he scored his first international try in more than five years. The Bath winger's second half try was his first since crossing against Uruguay in May 2010, or his first in thirty-one tests. His try was his fifth in international rugby with his previous tries having come against Samoa in 2006, Ireland in 2007, Scotland in 2008 and Uruguay in 2010. His record in the Aviva Premiership has been significantly higher which raises questions over how he has been used. A permanent move to outside centre continues to be discussed. He started in the position in Argentina's win over Italy last November. 

RWC Qualifier: Russia v Uruguay Full Match

Photo URU
Russia's 22-21 victory over Uruguay on Saturday sees the Europeans heading into the return fixture with a one point advantage. With the two-match series being determined on aggregate it means that a draw in Montevideo on October 11 will see Russia qualifying for Rugby World Cup 2015. Uruguay's task is therefore a win by two or more points which gives the South Americans a great chance at playing in a third World Cup. Russia's win in Krasnoyarsk was by one try to zero with prop Grigory Tsobilaze crossing which gave the home side a four point halftime lead. The accurate goalkicking of Felipe Berchesi the French based fly half all 21 of Uruguay's points. Despite not winning the match Uruguay had the better of the Russians for much of the game, notably in the forwards. Uruguayan pressure saw Russians giving away too many penalties and, consequently, players were yellow carded.  

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Guinness Pro 12: Americas Players Review - Round 4

Photo: Scottish Rugby
Four rounds into the Guinness Pro 12 season the competition is proving to be less predictable than in prevous seasons. With qualification for Europe now being based on merit and not nationality teams who have tended to perform poorly have much more to play for than previously. Those fielding weakened teams are running the risk of missing out on future qualification which has seen Irish powerhouses Leinster and Munster both currently sittting outside of the top four. Involved in the competition over the weekend were players from North and South America. With the Americas being the only continental region yet to be allocated hosting rights to a Rugby World Cup the involvement of players in elite level competition is of vast importance. 

Aviva Premiership: Americas Players Review - Round 4

Photo: Rugby Tucumano
After four rounds of the Aviva Premiership season the competition is very different to recent seasons. In the top four are three familiar teams with Saracens, Northampton and Bath all having started well. The fourth, though, is Exeter which comes as a surprise. Heavyweights the Harlequins and Leicester Tigers have not started well with both having a 50% winning record. Further down Newcastle and London Welsh have not come close to winning a match while Sale and Gloucester are appearing to be shadows of the teams which were English champions in 2002 and 2006. Involved in the Premiership this weekend were players from the Americas, the only IRB defined region yet to be allocated hosting rights to a Rugby World Cup. 

Top 14: Americas Players Review - Round 7

Photo Sin Mordaza
Seven rounds into the 2014-2015 Top season there appears reasoning for the woes of France's test team under the coaching of Phillipe Saint André. The forty-seven year old has favored players from certain clubs two of which are those at the bottom of the table - Castres and Toulouse. Saint André has also condemned the influence of imported players but has ignored the fact that there are roughly four hundred French players in the Top 14, a number more than double that of Australians, New Zealanders and South Africans playing Super Rugby. Involved in round seven were players from the Americas, the only continental region never to have been allocated hosting rights to a Rugby World Cup.  

Rugby Championship: Julian Savea scores try from Forward Pass

Photo: Rugby Dump
All Black winger Julian Savea scored a very impressive try against Argentina in La Plata. The 57th minute score saw the left winger bouncing out of attempted tackeld from Juan Martín Hernández, Juan Imhoff and Joaquín Tuculet in similar fashion to that of Jonah Lomu in Rugby World Cups 1995 and 1999. In the lead up to the try, however, Savea received a pass from scrumhalf Aaron Smith which went traveled around one metre forward. Rather than having the try looked at by the TMO South African referee Craig Joubert awarded the try immediately. Consequently the home side was let down by a poor decision, one which should not be possible considering the technology available.