Saturday, August 6, 2011

Argentina 78-15 South America XV

Scorelines can be misleading and today´s result certainly was as Argentina completed a 78-15 victory over the South American Invitation XV, known as the CONSUR XV this afternoon in San Juan, Argentina. Despite winning by a massive score, the match should indeed be considered a huge success. The continued growth of rugby in Argentina was clear with a big turn out to further underline the potential of Argentina as a host nation for Rugby World Cup 2023. Conditions were ideal with plenty of sun allowing for attacking rugby and both sides indeed played open rugby, using the width of the pitch throughout the match. Argentina´s superiority was clear as it always was going to be considering the huge difference in players with Los Pumas being packed with professional players playing for top teams in Europe and the remainder of the players being member of Los Pampas XV from this years Vodacom Cup in South Africa. The CONSUR XV was 100% amateur and a mixture of players from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela. The team was able to gel well and indeed put together some positive attacks. Without question the fixtire should not be a one off and was far superior to Argentina facing simply Chile or Uruguay. It was a send off for Los Pumas and now the whole of South American rugby will certainly be getting behind Argentina at New Zealand 2011.

The game was the definition of an exhibition with Argentina fielding a total of 30 players, 8 more than what is allowed in international matches. At the close of the first half Argentina were well in charge as they led by 33-3 with the CONSUR XV not really looking so dangerous but they more than made up for this with organized defence which demonstrated the growth of the sport across the continent. At one point in the secondhalf the CONSUR XV managed to hold out Los Pumas for 25 minutes as no points were scored between the 5th and 30th minutes of play. the new generation of Pumas players stood tall with uncapped winger, Juan Imhoff scoring a firsthalf hattrick. His first try, in just the second minute of play, openned the scoring. Two minutes latter, Argentina´s right winger, Horacio Agulla scored  Argentina´s second try, putting Argentina 12-0 ahead after four minutes. The CONSUR XV defended well for a long period thereafter, however, before Agulla and the Imhoff both scored again in the 30th and 31st minutes of play. When Benjamín Madero slotted a conversion for the CONSUR XV scores were 26-3 after 37 minutes but Imhoff hit back just before halftime with his third try after scrumhalf Nicolás Vergallo took a quick penalty.

Argentina made countless substitutions to start the secondhalf with a vastly different XV. Amongst the changes were both wingers with Rafael Carballo and Lucas Borges bothing entering the field. Carballo turned out to be a mirror image of Imhoff as he scored a secondhalf hattirck. His first try coming in the 44th minute. Nine minutes latter replacement scrumhalf, Alfredo Lalanne went over for a try which was converted by replacement flyhalf, Nicolás Sánchez. With Sánchez on the field, Contepomi went to inside centre. Three minutes after Lalanne´s try repalcement fullback, Martín Rodríguez Gurruchaga scored a brilliant solo try for Argentina as he fooled the defence. Carballo scored his second try in the 62nd minute and Lucas Borges went over one minute latter to put Argentina ahead 64-3. The CONSUR XV did not really look like scoring before replacement flyhalf, Lucas Rodríguez Duque, (Tank) scored from a chip and chase in the 73rd minute. Carballo completed his hattrick two minutes latter before Duque made history by scoring his second try, though another kick through the defence. Colombian international flyhalf, José Manuel Diosa Gómez, added the extras to make it 71-15 with three minutes left on the clock. It was to be Argentina scoring the final points, however, as replacement winger, Agustín Gosio, scored a try in the 79th minute which Sánchez converted to make it 78-15.

Argentina won by a big score but have a lot of work to do between now and New Zealand 2011. Los Pumas were guilty of many unforced errors as they seemingly tried to score from every phase rather than building tries.

Argentina

15 Lucas González Amorosino
14 Horacio Agulla
13 Marcelo Bosch
12 Santiago Fernández
11 Juan Imhoff
10 Felipe Contepomi (captain)
9 Nicolás Vergallo
8 Juan Fernández Lobbe
7 Alejandro Campos
6 Genaro Fessia
5 Patricio Albacete
4 Mariano Galarza
3 Juan Figallo
2 Mario Ledesma
1 Marcos Ayerza

CONSUR XV

15 Gastón Mieres
14 Fernando Luna
13 Lisandro Gómez López
12 Alberto Román
11 Leandro Leivas
10 Benjamín Madero
9 Santiago Méndez
8 Germán Suazo
7 José Basile
6 Ignacio Pasman
5 Felipe Aranguren
4 Hugo Schierano
3 Julio César Figallo (Panda)
2 Emiliano Coria
1 Francisco Deformes



Lucas Duque (Tank)

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