Friday, August 13, 2010

Rugby World Cup 1999 - Argentina vs Ireland


Rugby World Cup 1999 saw four teams added to bring the total number of competitors to twenty. The region of the Americas was allocated one more qualifying place which meant Argentina, Canada and the United States all qualified for the tournament. Uruguay also qualified, through repercharge to give the Americas a record four teams competiting at a Rugby World Cup.


Argentina were drawn in a pool with Japan, Samoa and Wales and needed to win two of these matches to advance to the play-off´s. Despite defeating Australia in 1997 and Scotland in 1999, Argentina were written off as contenders for a Quarter Final. Los Pumas simply did not have the respect of the global rugby public at this point in time. They were chosen to face tournament hosts, Wales in the opening fixture of Rugby World Cup 1999 because Samoa were considered a better side - having knocked Wales out of Rugby World Cup 1991.

Wales were expected to power past Los Pumas but Pumas flyhalf, Gonzalo Quesada had a great match with the boot which kept Argentina in touch throughout the match. Wales won 23–18. Argentina, thus needed to defeat both Samoa and Japan or be eliminated. Quesada again was superb with the boot kicking 27 points as Los Pumas defeated Samoa 32–16. Quesada´s dream run continued as he kicked 21 points as Los Pumas defeated Japan 33–12 to advance to the play-off´s. Argentina then went on to face Ireland in a Quarter-final play-off with the winner advancing to face France.

2 comments:

  1. Gonzalo Quesada was so hot back then that he was offered a chance to switch football code. His kicking skills and accuracy got the attention of NFL scouts' I'm not so sure but I think he did went for a trial with the Tammpa Bay Buccaneer. had he got the job, I'm pretty sure he would have develop into arguably the best place kicker in the league.

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  2. There should be more that 20 teams in the world cup. It's nearly impossible for up and coming nations to even get close to qualifying.

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