Sunday, March 18, 2012

Pampas XV rally to comeback and avoid shock defeat to the SWD Eagles to record a narrow 34-30 first win

The defending Vodacom Cup champions the Pampas XV recorded their first win of the season against the SWD Eagles, although it was not at all an easy one as they came from behind to edge the match 34-30.

Unlike the opening match defeat to the EP Kings where the Pampas XV got off to a flying start, this match got off to the worse possible one as centre Elric van Vuuren who was impressive, got an intercept try from an attempted inside pass from his opposite number Gabriel Ascárate to score under the posts just two minutes into the game.
Benjamín Madero scored a try but
also missed 8 point worth of kicks

However despite the shaky start the Pampas XV hit back two minutes later from a maul, the move that they themselves struggled so badly with in the first match provided them with their first try as the Eagles failed to contain it and Tomás Leonardi went over with the ball. And the Argentines would soon take the lead as a chip kick behind the Eagles defence from Benjamín Madero set up a try for himself.

But it was the Eagles who regained the lead going into half time as two van Vuuren got two extra penalties, whilst Madero struggled with the boot missing two penalties and a conversion meaning the Eagles went into half  time with a 13-12 lead.

After a penalty from Madero made it 15-13 to the Pampas XV, but then followed a worrying period and very questionable defense for the Pampas XV. Firstly winger Clinton Wagman finished off a neat move from the Eagles, but full back Román Miralles got himself horribly tangled up defensively due to poor alignment.
The Kings third try was even worse defence as Juan Pablo Lagarrigue and Emiliano Coria allowed van Vuuren to run straight through the middle of them in the defensive line in what should have been a routine tackle, and from there van Vuuren just needed to give a simple pass to Alshaun Bock to score. This try led the Eagles to a 10 point lead with 25 minutes to play and the Pampas XV were heading to a big upset of a defeat.

Note that although he couldn't do anything to stop Bock scoring, scrum half Tomás Cubelli did a great job in getting back and stopping Bock and forcing him to touch down in the corner which resulted in a missed conversion. The Pampas XV soon got a try back, through a sniping break from Cubelli on the back of a very solid and strong scrum and he again showed some real intelligent play, diving over pretending to score a try but without touching the ball down and then to sneak the try an extra 10 metres closer to the posts. In close games these small things such as what Cubelli did so well are crucial. I hope the coaches Daniel Hourcade and Mauricio Reggiardo appreciate the intelligence of Cubelli's play.
Facundo Barrea scored the Pampas
XV's fifth try

After the try from Cubelli, the match momentum swayed towards the Pampas XV as the Eagles tired, Ramiro Moyano went over in the corner, and then the other winger Facundo Barrea scored from a chip kick by Santiago González Iglesias, the second try in the match from a chip kick for the Argentines.

With the score 34-25 to the Pampas XV, the Eagles managed a consolation try in the last minute from lock Grant le Roux to win themselves a bonus point, but it wasn't enough to deny the Pampas XV their first win topped off by a try scoring bonus point. Bizarrely the 34-30 scoreline to the match is the exact same as the Eagles first match loss against the Free State Cheetahs.

The Pampas XV should be getting combinations better by now and perhaps their confidence could take a boost as well, they face Border Bulldogs next week who have struggled so far conceding 82 points in their first two matches. However a concern for the coaches must be the fact that three players went off with injuries during this match, Tomás de la Vega and Nahuel Lobo both went off before half time with injuries as did Juan Pablo Estelles in the second half, hopefully their injuries are not too serious.

Tries Leonardi (3), Madero (20), Cubelli (59), Moyano (72), Barrea (75) van Vuuren (1), Wagman (47), Bock (55), le Roux (78)
Conversions Madero (21), González Iglesias (60, 75) van Vuuren (1, 48)
Penalties Madero (44) van Vuuren (31, 38)

Pampas XV: 15 Román Miralles, 14 Facundo Barrea, 13 Juan Pablo Estelles (Rodrigo Bruno 64), 12 Gabriel Ascárate (Matías Orlando 42), 11 Ramiro Moyano; 10 Benjamín Madero (Santiago González Iglesias 57), 9 Tomás Cubelli (Martín Landajo 60); 1 Nahuel Lobo (Emiliano Coria 36), 2 Bruno Postiglioni, 3 Juan Gómez; 4 Juan Pablo Lagarrigue, 5 Mariano Galarza; 6 Julio Farías Cabello, 7 Tomás de la Vega (Germán Aráoz 36), 8 Tomás Leonardi
SWD Eagles: 15 Deroy Rhoode, 14 Alshaun Bock, 13 Wentsley Scott, 12 Elric van Vuuren, 11 Clinton Wagman; 10 Cecil Dumond (Jeff Taljard 60), 9 Johan Herbst (Mzo Dyantyi 60); 1 Jean Rossouw, 2 Dean Hopp, 3 Raoul Larson (Anton van der Westhuizen 38); 4 Lubabalo Mtyanda (Hein Potgieter 44), 5 Grant le Roux; 6 Shaun Raubenheimer, 7 Lyndon Hartnick, 8 Michael Vermaak



  1. Los Pampas XV need more time together to start performing well. The loss of so many players from last seasons triumph to European clubs seems to be evident. The team, nevertheless, has enough quality players to win the 2012 Vodacom Cup.

    Great review!

  2. I agree, the Pampas XV is kind of like an Under 20's team in that some years the group of players will be better than others, apart from the back row and second row and scrum half the team is completely different, add to that the team is rotating so the 100% strongest XV hasn't played in either match

    I think if they don't reach the quarter finals they should be very disappointed, but I still think they will

    by the way looking back at the 2010 squad that side really underachieved that year, they had Creevy, Rodríguez, Bustos Moyano, Fernández, Figuerola, Senatore all in the squad yet didn't reach the quarter finals, that squad on paper should have been challenging for the title but obviously didn't gel for whatever reason