Wednesday, October 6, 2010
URBA Top 14 Play-Offs
The two leading teams after the completion of the thirteen round-robin matches are two of the biggest clubs, if not the biggest, in Argentina. Hindu Club are leading the competition with 50 points and San Isidro (SIC) are in second on 46 points. Their positions on the table mean that they both automatically qualify for the semi finals and will each play a winner of the two play-offs matches. The first is between third placed Belgrano and sixth placed Atletico del Rosario and the second between fourth placed Alumni and fifth placed La Plata.
The Hindu Club and SIC have both produced not only Pumas players and European professionals but also international captains. Possibly the most famous Argentine of all time, Che Guevara is a former SIC player. Other notable players include Rugby World Cup 2007 head coach Marcelo Loffreda, Diego Albanese, Santiago Gonzalez Bonorino, Gonzalo Longo, Martin Schusterman and current Pumas Juan Manuel Leguizamón and Gonzalo Tiesi who play in France for Stade Francais.
Hindu have won the previous four URBA Top 14 championships and are favorites to win again in 2010. The team currently has former Pumas from France 2007 in Nicolás Fernández Miranda and Hernan Senillosa. It is also the former club of current Pumas players Horacio Agulla and Santiago Fernandez. Brive prop Pablo Henn is a former Hindu player as is the Golden Boot from Rugby World Cup 1999, Gonzalo Quesada and France 2007 backrower Lucas Ostiglia.