Saturday, September 17, 2011

Rugby World Cup 2011 - Argentina 43-8 Romania

Argentina´s World Cup campaign is back on track following an impressive 43-8 victory over Romania in Invercagill on Saturday afternoon. Los Pumas scored a total of six tries to one to pick up a bonus pointand defeat the Eastern European giant´s by a much greater margin than what Scotland had done one week previously. Argentina played the first half into a strong wind but were not put off at all as the South Americans played running rugby, often from deep within their own 22. Argentina were clearly the better side, thanks in large part to an impressive performace from the entire backrow with Juan Leguizamón particularly impressing as the number 8 come openside flanker was all over the park. Other notable performances came from flyhalf, Sanitago Fernández who was well organized and distributed the ball intelligently to his backline, and fullback Lucas González Amorosino. The fullback was a Sevens star for Argentina and played the past two seasons in England with the Leicester Tigers. He has moved to Montpellier to play alongside Fernández for Montpellier following New Zealand 2011.

Argentina had an opportunity to open the scoring early on but inside centre, Martín Rodríguez Gurruchaga was unsuccessful with his penalty attempt. It mattered not however as Fernández scored a try for Los Pumas in just the fifth minute of the match after right winger, Gonzalo Camacho had chased down and regathered an up-and-under. Rodríguez Gurruchaga was on target and Argentina went ahead 7-0. Three minutes latter Argentina had its second try as Leguizamón latched onto a áss from Rodríguez Gurruchaga and bet two Romanian tackles to go over. With Rodríguez Gurruchaga´s conversion on target Los Pumas were ahead 14-0. Romania hit back with a 14th minute penalty goal to flyhalf, Tiberius Ionut Dimofte. Argentian responded six minutes latter with a try to tighthead prop, Juan Figallo who went over from a pick-and-go. The match was very much about running rugby to the extent that the first scrum came in only the 22nd minute. Argentina then scored its best try of the half with a virtual length of the field effort after González Amorosino had run the ball back from fullback and several phases latter he, h8imself, scored the try. Argentina made it 26-3 with the conversion. But Romania fought back to score a try in the 31st minute to wingers Ionel Cazan after Los Pumas were guilty of lazy defense.

In the secondhalf, Romania were a different side as the Europeans tackled everything and played like it was the World Cup Final. The coach´s half time talk had the players focused on task as they were a different looking side altogether. Argentina, however, had the better of play and controlled possession. Romania, nonetheless, were impressive in conceeding two secondhalf tries compared to four in the first half. Rodríguez Gurruchaga scored the first points of the second half with a 43rd minute penalty goal to give Los Pumas a 29-8 lead. Romania´s defensive effort prevented a try until the 53rd minute of play even after Romanian loosehead prop Mihaita Alexandru Lazar had been off the field following a yellow card. Just before Lazar was sent from the field, Argentina had given Scotland a sign of their potential as they marched forward with a maul for over twenty metres. Romania had been killing the ball regularly at the breakdown which resulted in slow ball and eventually Lazar suffered the consequences. With Lazar on the sidelines Argentina went through a ten minute period in which they were hot on attack. The mauled and had scrums on the Romanian tryline but the Oaks managed to hold them out.

Replacement winger, Juan Imhoff ended the drought with a try in the 63rd minute after he had lined up a prop and easily went over for a try. With the conversion the South Americans were leading 36-8. The games final try was scored by Argentine replacement backrower, Genaro Fessia who was a late inclusion in the Argentine squad following injury to Racing Metro backrower, Alvaro Galindo. Fessia´s 71st minute try was simply off the charts as Argentina had been hot on attack only for Romania to intercept and look like scoring before Juan Imhoff won the ball back and kicked the ball through and regathered before passing to Fessia who just had enough pace to dotthe ball down before being tackled. Rodríguez Gurruchaga converted off the posts to give Argentina a 43-8 lead which is how it would remain.

Argentina now have seven days to prepare for the do-or-die match vs Scotland who sit top of the table after having defeated both Romania and Georgia in its frist two matches. England face Georiga on Sunday. While Romania´s next match comes next weekend vs England in Dunedin.

Pool B Standings

1 Scotland 9
2 Argentina 6
3 England 4
4 Georgia 1
5 Romania 0

Try Juan Figallo

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