Saturday, April 2, 2011

Los Pampas XV guarantee Quarter Final in Vodacom Cup

At the beginning of the Vodacom Cup season the bar was set for Los Pumas XV to reach the play-offs. Surely, now the goal will be changed as the Argentina team has qualified for the Quarter Finals  after defeating Witbank based side South African side the Pumas by 46-20 on Friday evening. The win sees Los Pampas go clear of the pack in the Southern Pool and continue to be the only undefeate4d side in the Vodacom Cup. Los Pampas again demonstrated the extent of their progress from 2010 thansk to the PladAR system which is indeed tuning out quality players. Argentina´s World Cup team is certain to have a number of players from Los Pampas XV and potentially will have players selected ahead of players playing at the top level in Europe. Indeed Los Pampas XV starting lineup included five players from Argentina´s 2010 November tour of Europe with Agustín Creevy, Mariano Galarza, Genaro Fessia, Julio Farías and 8 Miguel De Achával all playing. But the player to stand out ahead of the pack was the one player to have started every Vodacom Cup match this season - winger Juan Imhoff who must be in the sights of Los Pumas selectors.

Los Pampas XV made short work of getting the game underway as flyhalf Nicolás Sánchez kicked a fifth minute penalty goal to open the scoring. Coenie van Wyk leveled the scored four minutes latter with a goal of his own before Los Pampas XV score the games first try as right winger Agustín Gosio touched down in the 18th minute. The South Africans responded well with a try to Deon Scholtz three minutes latter which was followed by two penalties to Coenie van Wyk to put the hosts in the lead. Los Pampas XV hitback however as inside centre Maximiliano Nannini scored his sides second try late in the half but it was the hosts who closed out the half as Coenie van Wyk put the Pumas 17-15 ahead at the interval.

The second half was a different game altogether as Los Pampas XV took total control of the match. Nicolás Sánchez  put the Argentina side back in the lead with a penalty in the 44th minute which was soon followed by a clever piece of play from scrumhalf Nicolás Bruzzone who scored two minutes latter which Sánchez converted. The South Africans scored next with Deon Scholtz slotting a penalty in the 50th minute but it was to be the last time the Pumas scored points in the match. Los Pampas XV regrouped swiftly as Juan Imhoff scored a nice try to underline his credentials as an international player in the making. The try gave Los Pampas XV a bonus point victory but there was still gas left in the tank as Agustín Gosio went over for his second try of the match and Gabriel Ascárte scored as well to complete an impressive second half in which Los Pampas XV scored 31 points and only conceeded three.

Northern Zone Ladder

1 Griquas 22 
2 Pumas 18 
3 Golden Lions 16 
4 Leopards 11 
5 Valke Falcons 10 
6 Griffons 9 
7 Blue Bulls 7 
8 Welwitschias 2 

Southern Zone Table

1 Los Pampas XV 27 
2 Sharks XV 21 
3 Western Province 20 
4 Free State 17 
5 SWD Eagles 13 
6 Boland Kavaliers 11
7 Eastern Province 10
8 Border 5 

Remaining Round 6 Fixtures
Golden Lions vs Free State

Griffons vs Western. Province
Blue Bulls vs Eastern. Province
Welwitschias vs Border

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