Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Marcelo Bosch 55 metre penalty

One of the surprize packages for Argentina to come our of Rugby World Cup 2011 was the emergence of Biarritz back, Marcelo Bosch as a genuine outside centre. Bosch has long been regarded as a flyhalf who can also play inside centre and, if need be, fullback. Bosch had previously played in all three positions and with success for Biarritz but had to have knee surgery and also shoulder surgery which prevented him from playing for Argentina for the bulk of the period from 2008-2011. Following his return to full fitness in time for the 2010-2011 season Bosch made the move to outside centre and held the position for the season as he adapted well to the demands of the position and proved to be an effective attacking option. This worked out well for Los Pumas as it meant Bosch could be used as a back up 13 for Gonzalo Tiesi and he was selected for New Zealand 2011 with this in mind. With Tiesi´s tournament ending injury midway through the first half of the Pumas´ first match Bosch was called upon to play 13 for Argentina´s matches vs Romania, Scotland, Georgia and New Zealand.

Argentina´s goalkickers, Felipe Contepomi and Martín Rodríguez Gurruchaga like many kickers at the tournament, had major problems with the Gilbert balls as they kicked well below their usual success rates due to the ball´s unpredicatable movement after the kick had begun slowing down. Argentina were defeated in its opening Rugby World Cup match because both Contepomi and Rodríguez Gurruchaga were well off target. Had they kicked to their usual percentages Argentina would have won the match. Both had problems in other matches with Rodríguez Gurruchaga unable to kick to his usual standards vs Romania and Contepomi having issues vs both Scotland and Georgia. Argentina had qualified for the Quarter Finals after defeating Romania, Scotland and Georgia and with this coach Santiago Phelan looked to Marcelo Bosch as the teams long range goalkicker ahead of Martín Rodríguez Gurruchaga. Bosch had slotted noe kick from two attempts vs Georgia and his one Quarter Final attempt was 15 metres from touch on the halfway line and, he showed what Argentina had been missing throughout the tournament as he slotted it to cut New Zealand´s lead to 12-10 in the 46th minute of the knock-out match.

Bosch has since been used as a goalkicker for Biarritz due to the injury enforced loss of scrumhalf Dimitri Yachvilli. With Felipe Contepomi now aged 34 and neither of Juan Martín Hernández and Santiago Fernández being regarded as international level goalkickers, it could well be Marcelo Bosch who is to kick goals for Argentina when the team makes its debut in the new The Rugby Championship vs Australia, New Zealand and South Africa in 2012. Possibly, the other option facing the Pumas coaches would be selecting Montpellier winger, Martín Bustos Moyano at wing or fullback.

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