Friday, March 16, 2012

Preview: Pampas XV vs SWD Eagles

Pampas  VS Eagles
The Pampas XV look to get their Vodacom Cup defence back on track as they take on the SWD Eagles in their second match of the campaign after the first round penalty infested loss to the EP Kings where the pack were mauled out of the game.

Team News: As expected the Pampas XV have named a much rotated team for their second match of the Vodacom Cup following a disappointing loss to the EP Kings in their first, there are seven changes to the starting lineup in total. The changes are nothing to do with anybody being dropped, just the coaches want to give the entire 30 man squad a good amount of time on the pitch, the fully unrotated strongest side is only really expected if the Pampas XV reach the knockout rounds.

The very accurate goal kicker González Iglesias who had a perfect day with the boot in the last round, makes way for Benjamín Madero who was the CONSUR XV fly half against the Pumas last August. Tomás Cubelli also joins him to form a new half back pairing. Also in the backs, Facundo Barrea replaces the promising winger Manuel Montero and Gabriel Ascárate who was a key member of last year's side returns after missing the first match due to a minor injury.

In the forwards, the 32 year old Juan Pablo Lagarrigue is brought in ahead of Santiago Guzmán, Tomás de la Vega also gets a chance to play, whilst Nahuel Lobo replaces Francisco Piccinini at loosehead prop.

Nahuel Lobo
Nahuel Lobo
It is a concern that the young front row Lobo is being shifted about so much, he seems to be the latest casualty to what I have now dubbed "Guiñazu disease", it seems to be a lottery of which number between 1 to 3 he has on his back.

And just like Guiñazu it will hold him back if it continues, in the modern game there are very few versatility front rowers as teams now often with 23 man benches prefer specialists, since Federico Mendez retired it is hard to think of any players who were world class in all three front row position.

He will not be taken seriously to ever be a prolonged contender for the Pumas or more than unless moving forward he focuses on one front row position and sticks to it, only using his versatility if really needed. The same problem applied to Bruno Postiglioni, but fortunately for him this year he seems to be sticking at playing hooker.

It is hoped for a much much better performance from the pack than the last match, as it was this area which cost the Pampas XV the match not the backs, they conceded far too many penalties and were pushed about  by the Kings.

Pampas XV15 Román Miralles, 14 Facundo Barrea, 13 Juan Pablo Estelles, 12 Gabriel Ascárate, 11 Ramiro Moyano; 10 Benjamín Madero, 9 Tomás Cubelli; 1 Nahuel Lobo, 2 Bruno Postiglioni, 3 Juan Gómez; 4 Juan Pablo Lagarrigue, 5 Mariano Galarza; 6 Julio Farías Cabello (captain), 7 Tomás de la Vega, 8 Tomás Leonardi

Replacements: 16 Emiliano Coria, 17 Germán Aráoz, 18 Rodrigo Bruno, 19 Rodrigo Báez; 20 Martín Landajo, 21 Santiago González Iglesias, 22 Matías Orlando

The Opposition: South Western District Eagles

The SWD Eagles are not expected to be as much of a test as the opening match against the EP Kings, whilst the Kings had several experienced players who have played Super Rugby, the Eagles have a total of just one start at Super Rugby level in their squad, and that player Braam Immelman (who also had a stint in the Top 14 with Montauban) isn't even in the matchday 22.

The matchday 22 in fact, doesn't have a single minute of Super Rugby experience within it. It is mostly made up of long time Vodacom Cup standard players, or rejects from the big South African teams who weren't getting a game in their Vodacom Cup side. One member of the side has appeared in a high profile tournament though, tighthead prop Raoul Larson won 3 caps at the recent World Cup with Namibia, and is one of the few Namibians lucky enough to be playing in the Vodacom Cup as the Namibian side the Welwitschias were pulled from the tournament through financial difficulty.

It would be highly embarrassing for the Pampas XV to lose to this side and quite frankly if they were to some members would have to look at themselves and face that they are simply not good enough for professional rugby not even lower divisions never mind the Pumas.

However this Eagles team shouldn't be taken for granted. They lost by just four points in their last match to the FS Cheetahs away, and have an unchanged side from that match. And last season notably beat the finalists the Blue Bulls away as well, albeit a weaker Bulls side than the one in the knockout stages

However whilst they may give the Pampas XV a good workout, you would expect the Argentines to come away with the win comfortably, like the sides last meeting in 2010 which was a 36-17 win for the Pampas XV, although the win should have been more than the score suggests, Martín Rodríguez had a kicking nightmare that day missing 6 from 9 kicks.

SWD Eagles: 15 Deroy Roode, 14 Alshaun Bock, 13 Wentsley Scott, 12 Elric van Vuuren, 11 Clinton Wagman; 10 Cecil Dumond, 9 Johan Herbst; 1 Jean Rossouw, 2 Dean Hopp, 3 Raoul Larson; 4 Grant le Roux, 5 Lubabalo Mtyanda; 6 Shaun Raubenheimer, 7 Lyndon Hartnick (captain), 8 Michael Vermaak

Replacements: 16 Wayne Khan, 17 Anton van der Westhuizen, 18 Hein Potgieter, 19 Buran Parks; 20 Mzo Dyantyi, 21 Jeffrey Taljard, 22 Kempie Rautenbach

Date: Saturday the 17th of March
Venue: AF Markötter Stadium, Paul Roos Gymnasium, Stellenbosch
Kickoff: 16:00 (Local Time), 14:00 (GMT), 11:00 (Argentina Time)

No comments:

Post a Comment