Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Juan Imhoff magic performance against Perpignan

Juan Imhoff
Juan Imhoff continues from where he left off in 2011. In his first match of 2012 against Perpignan, he constantly single handedly tore apart the Perpignan defence.

After being rested for last week's match, Imhoff was fresh for for this encounter away to the Catalan side. Selected at a full back rather than his usual spot on the wing, Imhoff was involved regularly throughout and continually made an impact on the Perpignan defence and lit the match up in what was an otherwise scrappy mistake ridden match.

Imhoff has taken the transition from upping a level of rugby from the level of the Pampas XV or Jaguars where he had a phenomenal try scoring record. His magic that troubled lowel level defences are working as well for Racing-Métro. Imhoff is a real athletic quick player, and agile as well, combined with his ability to work really hard around the pitch to look for opportunities for himself make him a player with a very rounded skill set.

However, wing is a position where players always have good and bad patches, all the best wingers of all time such as Jonah Lomu, Joe Roff, Jason Robinson, Bryan Habana and Shane Williams have had periods where nothing productive came their way. It happens to every winger at some point, as the position relies on opportunity more than others.

Imhoff has had a phenomenal 12 months, but he will have to deal with soon the factor of defences knowing about him, despite getting a good reputation in Argentina after good performances during the World Cup and in the build up to it, he was little known elsewhere in the world but after this match the French media have really sat up taken notice of him.

Here are some extracts from the French press:

"Definitely the right pick of recruitment by Racing. Juan Imhoff is becoming a key starter. He already was as a winger, he could next become one at the position of ... full back, where he had a standout performance, in place of Juan Martín Hernández, a gamble by backs coach Gonzalo Quesada. He was sharp in all his attacks, and was never at fault in defence. The Argentine pierced the defence several times. Of these breaks one achieved a try: a turnover just outside the Perpignan 22 metre line, the Puma took advantage of a slow Olivier Olibeau and Florian Cazenave to run past and score seconds later. Simple but devilishly effective."
Rugbyrama.fr (try of the week)

"Not the type of person to talk about individuals, but Pierre Berbizier couldn't help salute "the performance of Juan Imhoff", who lit up the meeting between USAP and Racing, scorer of the only Racing try which was an individual effort of high class, the young Argentine was impressive with ball in hand. Of him, Fabrice Estebanez said "He has a lot of talent, he brings a lot of speed and a lot in support, he is a player to follow in the Top 14". After a meteoric rise, if we never see Juan Martín Hernández recover his best form, he could be the Argentinean star of the Sky and White"
Sports.fr (player of the week)

"He has the athletic qualities that allow him make breaks. His support, his acceleration ... as you add up playing time, this type of player is invaluable to cross the gainline. And then, personally, he is a great guy"
Rugbyrama.fr (quote from interview with teammate Rémi Vaquin)


(video: Juan Imhoff's performance against Perpignan)

3 comments:

  1. The Kurtley Beale of Argentina

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  2. Although it is still early days I´d back Imhoff to win the Top 14 rookie of the year award.

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  3. the timing for that hand-off was superb, very talented back, hope JMG can step up, was playing horrible the last year. Plus JMH to continue playing well, also dr Phill doing great matches... god... just waiting for rugby championship, hope the French dont block this guys to fly down under.

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