Saturday, April 30, 2011

Los Pampas XV win Quarter Final of Vodacom Cup

Argentina should have a team in Super Rugby as soon as possible. This is certainly the message after Los Pampas XV remain undefeated after winning an incredible Quarter Final match 41-34 vs the Free State Cheetahs on Friday night. Not only are Los Pampas XV the only undefeated side in the compeition but the team is also the newest and is made up of players who are exclusively based in Argentina. A number of players will be considered for places in the Argentina World Cup squad and indeed will have professional contracts in no time. The team, in other words, is enjoying great sucess despite not being able to field players based in Europe. Los Pampas XV were winning the match as the second half drew to a close but a late converted try from the South Africans tied the scores at 34-34 which sent the match into extra time. It took until the seventeenth minute of over time for the next points to be scored as Agustin Gosia crossed to show how successful the PladAR program has been. The Argentina side will face the winner of the Sharks and Western Province in a Quarter FInals match to be played latter today.

Los Pampas XV were led well unfront with hooker, Agustín Creevy playing very well alongside other forwards such as Julio Farías, Leonardo Senatore and Miguel de Achával. Fariás scored the games first try as he went over in just the second minute of play. Los Pampas XV flyhalf Nicolás Sánchez was successful with his conversion attempt but following a period of more than fifteen minutes without scoring, the Cheetahs responded with a try to backrower Lappies Labuschagne which saw the scores tied following Louis Strydom´ successful conversion attempt. The Argentine´s responded four minutes latter with a penalty goal to Sánchez which put Los Pampas ahead 10-7 in the twenty-third minute. The Cheetahs hit back again as left winger Eddie Fredericks scored six minutes latter and with Strydom slottign the converion and a penalty goal five minutes latter the Cheetahs were ahead 17-10 at half-time.

The impressive young Pampas winger, Juan Imhoff had an incredible second forty minutes as the bound to be future Pumas wingers scored a hat-trick with three tries in the first 19 minutes after the interval. His first try cut the Cheetahs lead to two points and with a converted try to backrower, Miguel de Achával several minutes latter, Los Pampas XV had the lead. It looked as though the South Americans were running away with things as Juan Imhoff scored his second try in the 53rd minute of play to give Los Pampas XV nineteen unanswered points in thirteen minutes but the Cheetahs ensured it was to go down to the wire as fullback Johan Goosen scored to cut the lead in the 57th minute. Imhoff´s third try in the 59th minute made the try look like a one-off but this could not be further from the truth as Los Pampas XV´ 34-24 lead was cut down and equalized as inside centre, Morgan Newman and Strydom both scored five points each to send the game into extra time.

Both teams appeared to be feeling the pressure of extra-time with both sides making simple errors and showing fatigue and defensive problems. Los Pampas XV went close with a scrum on the Cheetahs goal line but following the decision of the video referee, play returned to the 22. The Argenitne players did not give in however, as following an attack which lasted more than twenty phases, Agustín Gosier went over to put Los Pampas XV into the semi finals. With time up on the clock, Newman came close to scoring but Los Pampas XV held firm. The Cheetahs were given three generous penalties with time up and battered away at the try line. However, replacement scrumhalf, Nicolás Bruzzone, closed out the match as he kicked the ball dead following a chip kick from the Cheetahs.

Match Highlights

Final minutes

1 comment: