Thursday, September 22, 2011

Scotland vs Argentina, November 2009

With a substantial injury count and an opponent who had defeated Australia the previous week Argentina´s 2009 clash with Scotland looked like being tough from the outset. Headcoach, Santiago Phelan was forced into fielding a side packed with new faces. Felipe Contepomi, Juan Martín Hernández, Marcelo Bosch, Gonzalo Camacho, Juan Leguizamón and Mario Ledesma were all missing. While long serving secondrower, Rimas Alvarez had recently retired from international duty. It was a case of a young side taking on a team who were coming off consecutive home wins vs Fiji and Australia. Argentina, had lost to both England and Wales but had been fielding understrength line-ups and were able to compete in both matches. The game at Murrayfield thus serevd as more than jsut a preview of the clash to come at Rugby World Cup 2011 it was an opportunity for Scotland to score a clean -sweep of home victories in November 2009 and for potential  Pumas players to push for a permanent place in the XV.
The match was overshadowed by the conditions which were freezing and wet as neither side was able to score a try during the 80 minutes. Scotland were leading the game 6-0 at halftime but were unable to score a point after the interval. Scottish flyhalf, Phil Godman had missed two of his four first half attempts while the young Argentine goalkicker, Martín Rodríguez Gurruchaga failed to find target in the first forty but went on to be the matches hero as he kicked all nine of Argentina´s points as Los Pumas snuck in a late 9-6 victory. Rodríguez Gurruchaga was playing inside centre as both Felipe Contepomi and Marcelo Bosch were injured while Santiago Fernández was playing flyhalf. The then amateur combination stood firm against the Scots and their performances had a lot to do with both players recieving offers from leading Top 14 clubs to play the following season in France. Argentina were captained by Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe who was the games best forward as he dominated proceedings at the breakdown and was highly important as a ball carrier.

Despite no tries being scored both sides created chances with several linebreaks. Sean Lamont and Ben Cairns were important players for the Europeans while Horacio Agulla had a highly positive influence on the game from fullback. The backrower turned hooker, Agustín Creevy was given his first chance at international level as a frontrower and didn´t disapoint as he contributed well to Argentina as he made plenty of metres as a ball carrier. The three point win indeed had a lot to do with the make up of Los Pumas in 2010 and indeed the squad for New Zealand 2011. Before the tour Martín Rodríguez Gurruchaga was uncapped and Agustín Creevy was just another backrower.


15 R Lamont (Toulon, France)
14 S Lamont (Scarlets, Wales)
13 A Grove (Worcester, England)
12 B Cairns (Edinburgh)
11 T Evans (Glasgow)
10 P Godman (Edinburgh)
9 C Cusiter captain (Glasgow)
8 A Jacobsen (Edinburgh)
7 R Ford (Edinburgh)
6 M Low (Glasgow)
5 N Hines (Leinster, Ireland)
4 A Kellock (Glasgow)
3 A Strokosch (Gloucester, England)
2 A MacDonald (Edinburgh)
1 J Beattie (Glasgow)


16 D Hall (Glasgow)
17 K Traynor (Edinburgh)
18 J White (Clermont, France)
19 R Vernon (Glasgow)
20 R Lawson (Gloucester, England)
21 C Paterson (Edinburgh)
22 N De Luca (Edinburgh)


15 Horacio Agulla (Brive, France)
14 Lucas Borges (Albi, France)
13 Gonzalo Tiesi (Harlequins, England)
12 Martin Rodriguez Gurruchaga (Atletico de Rosario)
11 Federico Martin Aramburu (Dax, France)
10 Santiago Fernández (Hindu Club)
9 Alfredo Lalanne (London Irish, England)
8  Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe Captain (Toulon, France)
7  Alejandro Abadie (Rovigo, Italy)
6 Alejandro Campos (Montauban, France)
5 Patricio Albacete (Toulouse, France)
4 Manuel Carizza (Biarritz, France)
3 Martin Scelzo (Clermont, France)
2 Alberto Vernet Basualdo (Toulouse, France)
1 Marcos Ayerza (Leicester Tigers, England)


16 Agustin Creevy (San Luis)
17 Rodrigo Roncero (Stade Francais, France)
18 Estaban Lozada (Toulon, France)
19 Tomas Leonardi (SIC)
20 Agustin Figuerola (CASI)
21 Benjamin Urdapilleta (CUBA)
22 Horacio San Martin (Tala)

The fourth of five matches between the two teams since Rugby World Cup 2007 will be shown in 24 hours time.


  1. do you think Ignacio Fernandez Lobbe and Rimas Alvarez Kairelis retired too early?

    Lobbe was starting every match for Northampton in 2010 and Alvarez Kairelis plays at a high level with Perpignan

    do you think either of them could have managed to reach the current World Cup if they hadn't retired?

  2. Sorry for the very late reply. I indeed believe that Rimas Alvarez Kairelis did retire early. He would have been a great player for Argentina´s bench in the 2011 World Cup. When Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe went off injured vs Scotland I said to myself than Rimas Alvarez Kairelis was the man needed right now. Despite being a secondrower he would have been the man to put on there and then.