Friday, August 19, 2011

Italy vs Japan - Argentine Luciano Orquera helps Italy home

With New Zealand 2011 fast approaching it is important to remember that there are going to be Argentine players playing not only for Los Pumas but also for Italy. The Italian squad for the tournament includes six players from Argentina and one of them, the Aironi bound Luciano Orquera, who contributed five second half points for Italy as the Europeans had to dig deep to defeat a stong performing Japanese side. The 31-24 victory in the Italian city of Cesena featured five Argentine born players with Sergio Parisse leading the team. Orquera was on the bench as was centre Gonzalo Canale, scrumhalf Pablo Canovosio and prop Martín Castrogiovanni.

Italy started the match superbly as they went 14-0 ahead inside the first 15 minutes of play thanks to two converted tries. Japan, however, were not going to give in and the side hit back before the interval thanks to two well worked tries to winger Takeshisa Usuzuki and centre Koji Taira. This made the scores 14-14 after 30 minutes of play and Japan went into the break leading 17-14 after flyhalf, James Arlidge slotted a penalty goal in the 38th minute. Italy came back strong and took back the lead five minues after the interval as hooker, Leonardo Ghiraldini, scored a try which flyhalf, Riccardo Bocchino converted. After both sides substituted a number of players, Italy scored again in the 57th minute with loosehead prop, Andrea Lo Cicero, putting Italy nine points clear. Luciano Orquera made it an 11 point lead as he slotted the coversion. Japan were back in the match as they were awarded a penalty try in the 63rd minute but any chance of a win took a dive with seven minues left on the clock as prop Hisateru Hirashima was yellowcarded. Orquera guaranteed the win as he slotted a penalty kick in the 74th minute which put Italy seven points clear.

Italy play its final match before Rugby World Cup 2011 at Murrayfield against Scotland today while Japan have a home match in Tokyo against the United States of America on Sunday. The Italian side to face Scotland has been confirmed and will feature eleven changed with five Argentine players in the starting XV as well as one Canadian. Gonzalo Canale and Gonzalo Garcia will combine in the centre with Lucaino Orquera pulling the strings at flyhalf. Martín Castrogiovanni will be the rock of the frontrow while the team will be lead by Sergio Parisse who will play in the eight shirt. Pablo Canavosio will take his place on the bench as cover for scrumhalf.

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