Saturday, December 10, 2011

Churchill Cup 2009 - Canada vs Argentina Jaguars

Juan Figallo taking on Aaron Carpenter
The now defunct Churchill Cup was used by Canada and the USA as a development tool to bridge the gap between domestic and international level. It involved the test teams of both countries facing off against visiting sides, usually from Europe and usually A teams rather than the test teams. The likes of the England Saxons, France A, Ireland A and Scotland A were teams who competed in the event. It wasn´t also so, however, as there were also full international matches with Tier Two sides such as Georgia, Russia and Uruguay also participating. Argentina also played with its A team, the Argentina Jaguares, or Los Jaguares, playing most recently in 2009. It proved to be the final time Argentina would be involved in the Churchill Cup as the competition was played for the final time in 2011.

Los Jaguares battled it in the Bronze Final with Canada in the 2009 tournament. Both teams featured players who would go on to play at Rugby World Cup 2011 but both were also highly experimental. The Canadian team included World Cup stars James Pritchard, DTH van der Merwe, Aaron Carpenter and Jebb Sinclair but the likes of Pat Riordan, Chauncey O'Toole and Adam Kleeberger were all on the bench. Los Jaguares, despite being Argentina A, was in fact a largely home based side with many players who were being seen as potential Pumas of the future selected. A very young Juan Figallo started at loosehead prop and joined Agustín Creevy in the frontrow. Creevy was playing hooker after recently having made the transition from the backrow. Los Jaguares´ backrow featured Alejandro Campos and Leonardo Senatore who went on to play in the 2011 Quarter Final vs the All Blacks.

Both teams went onto the park to play rugby and tries flowed in what was a highly entertaining match which featured more than 70 points. The South American´s won the contest 44-29 after outscoring Canada by five tries to four. The scoreline did, however, flatter Canada after Argentina held a big lead before Canada started finiding its rhythm. Winger Matt Evans scored two for Canada as did centre DTH van der Merwe. Argentina´s tries were scored by Creevy, wingers Francisco José Merello and Tomás De Vedia, inside centre Benjamin Urdapilleta, and Senatore all scoring one try each. Urdapilleta proved to be an outstanding goalkicking option as he converted all five tries and also slotted three penalties. The match proved to be crucial to the development of a number of players with van der Merwe being signed by the Glasgow Warriors after the tournament and Urdapilleta moving to the Harlequins eight months latter.

In place of the Churchill Cup Canada and the USA are to host incoming tours. Canada has already confirmed that it will face Georgia, Italy and the USA Eagles in June 2012. The USA are expected to confirm matches against the same opposition shortly with Italy heading to North America after playing its first match of the international window vs Argentina at a yet to be determined location.
15 James Pritchard
14 Sean Duke
13 DTH van der Merwe
12 Bryn Keys
11 Matt Evans
10 Ander Monro
9 Ed Fairhurst
8 Aaron Carpenter (captain)
7 Nanyak Dala
6 Stan McKeen
5 Tyler Hotson
4 Jebb Sinclair
3 Dan Pletch
2 Mike Pletch
1 Frank Walsh

Replacements: 16 Pat Riordan, 17 Doug Wooldridge, 18 Stuart Ault, 19 Chauncey O'Toole, 20 Adam Kleeberger, 21 Dean Van Camp, 22 Phil Mack.

Argentina Jaguars
15 Lucas Bernado Barrera Oro
14 Francisco José Merello
13 Matías Viazzo
12 Benjamín Urdapilleta
11 Tomás De Vedia
10 Ignacio Mieres
9 Martin Landajo
8 Tomás Leonardi
7 Alejandro Campos
6 Leonardo Senatore
5 Carlos José Cáceres
4 Mariano Sambucetti
3 Pedro Ledesma
2 Agustín Creevy
1 Juan Figallo

Replacements: 16 Mauricio Rául Guidone, 17 Juan Francisco Gomez, 18 Tomás Roan, 19 Agustín Guzman, 20 Francisco Cubelli, 21 Horacio Alberto San Martin, 22 Belisario Agulla.

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