Monday, November 29, 2010

Argentina defeated in Dublin by Ireland

Ireland won yesterdays international match between Ireland and Los Pumas in Dublin after scoring two tries - one in each half. However, questionable refereeing from South Africa´s Mark Lawrence prevented what was surely a penalty try against Ireland in the first 10 minutes of play. Instead he awarded a scrum to Ireland. The greatest Irish hooker of all time, Keith Wood, said it should have indeed been a penalty try to Argentina. His refereeing at scrumtime appeared to go against the laws of rugby as the game continued but the loss can certainly not be contributed to the refereeing. Felipe Contepomi missed four penalty goals and Marcelo Bosch failed in a drop goal attemped. These 22 missed points could have changes the shape of the match entirely.

Ireland, however, were the better side playing a better match and, unlike Argentina, looked to play running rugby with teh world best centre pairing of Brian O´Driscoll and Gordon D´Arcy targeting larger forwards and Jamie Heaslip and Stephen Ferris running at the smaller backs. Argentina were pretty short of ideas and were seemingly following the coaches orders to keep it tight rather than use the potential attacking weapons of the backs. This worked in favor of Ireland as the hosts were not overwhelmed at scrum time or in rucks are was predicted. The missing forwards seemed to be needed in this match with Argentina not having its usual superiority around the park. The presence of Manuel Carizza, Alejandro Campos and Juan Leguizamon was eveidently lacking.

Ireland did not play well. They got a 20 point win - but an ugly win. Better kicking from Contepomi would have changed the match entirely. Jonathan Sexton proved to be a decieve player in kicking 17 points but he was unable to be creative and Ireland went through large patches of playing closed rugby. Their first try was scored by Ferris who combined with Heaslip who attracted two defenders before offloading to Ferris to score in the nineteenth minute. Argentina scored their first points in the 31st minute through a Contepomi penalty which made the scores 13-3. Sexton, however slotted two more in the first half to put Ireland in a comfortable 19-3 lead. After the break Contepomi kicked two and Sexton one with Ireland leading 22-9 in the 67th minute as Argentina were playing the better rugby. The visitors, were unable to score a try however  and in the final minute of play, D´Arcy chipped and chased his own kick to score a great try and give Ireland a big win.

Despite the bitter rivalry between the two teams, Irish fans failed to pack the stadium which was very surprizing. It was a very cold afternoon but, nevertheless, there were far more than a few empty seats. Should Argentina 2023 become a reality with the Rugby World Cup being hosted in the Americas for the first time ever it will mean a change in policy. Every Rugby World Cup since the second in 1991, Europe has always hosted - 1991, 1999, 2007 and will again in 2015 with England confirmed as tournament hosts. 2023 would thus be Europe´s time to host again to continue the eight year cycle. There are possible hosts in Europe with the main two being Italy and Ireland. The Irish could put a bid together which would depend on the GAA enabling their stadiums to be used for rugby matches and would possibly look to use Scorland or Wales as a co-host. Italy, on the other hand, made an official bid to host Rugby World Cup 2015 or 2019 but lost out to England and Japan. Italy has been succesfully hosting matches in different parts of the country and attracting good crowds.

Dublin has its own brand new wonderful stadium - the Aviva Stadium which was given hosting rights to all four of Ireland´s home matches this month. Yet todays match, like the three others, failed to draw spectators as countless empty seats were visible to all. The same cannot be said of matches in Buenos Aires or Argentina in general. With the Americas the only region to never have hosted Rugby's biggest tournament, 2023 appears to be not only a very good idea but unbeatable.

Highlights in English

Highlights in Spanish

No comments:

Post a Comment