Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Strong Club Debuts for three Martíns
This past weekend saw the debut of two Argentine players for their new French clubs and the run-on debut for a third. All eyes were on the long awaited return of El Mago - Juan Martín Hernández, after a 10 month injury lay-off sustained while playing for the Sharks in South Africa´s Currie Cup in 2009. Hernández came on for Racing Metro in the second half to kick one penalty and a conversion as his team scored an away victory vs last seasons semi finalists, Toulon.
Fellow Paris club, Stade Français Paris selected Martín Rodriguez Gurruchaga for his first run on match after playing the first two matches as a replacement. In this years June internationals vs Scotland and France he made the Pumas 15 shirt his own with three strong performances. Stade Français, however, opted to play him at inside centre for Saturdays match vs Toulouse. They were not let down. Debuting vs Toulouse, Rodriguez scored all 16 of his teams points including a great try and another very good linebreak past French captain, Thierry Dusautoir. His performance showed that he has the potential to develop into a very potent player. Santiago Fernández (Montpellier) and Marcelo Bosch (Biarritz) will need to step up their performances or not make the Pumas 22 come November. Even Felipe Contepomi could be under pressure for his spot. Rodriguez is likely to be Argentina´s 15 but if he plays well at 12 for Stade Français then 12 may be where he is picked.
There was a third Argentine player with the name Martín debuting on the weekend - uncapped winger Martín Bustos Moyano who played his first match for Montpellier alongside Pumas flyhalf Santiago Fernández. Bustos Moyana was the goalkicker. He had a good debut, slotting goals and playing well in general. If he can get regular game time he could be in line for a first ever call up to the Pumas squad.