Saturday, May 7, 2011

Los Pampas XV into 2011 Vodacom Cup Final

The case for Argentina to have a fully professional team in Super Rugby as soon as possible continues to grow as Argentina´s team in South Africa´s Vodacom Cup defeated the Sharks in a semi-final match at the Profert Olën Park in Potchfestroom on Friday in South Africa. The semi final win continues the undefeated season of Los Pampas XV and means the team will face the winner of the Blue Bulls and Griquas in the Vodacom Cup Final at a yet to be determined venue. The South American´s won the semi final after coming back from a 10-0 deficit in the first half and a firsthalf deficit of 16-10. The Sharks scored the games first points with a penalty to fullback Gouws Prinsloo in the first minute of play. He also slotted two further first half penalties in the 37th and 40th minutes and converted his sides first half try which was scored by left winger Try de Rosko Specman in the sixth minute and converted by Prinsloo. The scoreboard at the end of the first half was a realistic reflection of the first 40 minutes as the Sharks had the better of play. Los Pampas XV managed one try through secondrower, Julio Farías, who was playing in the backrow for this match. Flyhalf, Nicolás Sánchez slotted the conversion.

Los Pampas XV turned the match on its head in the second-half as the Argentine side took firm control of the match immediately following the interval. Sánchez cut the deficit to six points with a penalty goal in the 42nd minute before scumhalf, Nicolás Bruzzone put Los Pampas XV in the lead following a 45th minute try which Sánchez converted. Highly promising winger, Juan Imhoff had another stand-out performance as he scored his sides third try several minutes latter but the Sharks were still in the match as Prinsloo slotted a penalty goal in the 59th minute. Pampas XV fullback, Joaquín Tuculet went over in the 64th minute as the South Americans were going through a period of the match in which they dominated possession. Then five minutes latter, the third member of Los Pampas XV´ back three got his name on the scorecard as Agustín Gosio´converted try  all but gave the Argentine´ victory. Both teams managed late tries with Imhoff scoring his second try, after a long range interception, with 4 minutes remaining and Sharks winger, Mark Richards going over for a try in the final minute of play. This closed play and gave Los Pampas XV a 41-26 victory.

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