Friday, April 13, 2012

Pampas XV to face toughest test yet against the undefeated Western Province

Pampas  VS    
After a rest over Easter weekend the Pampas XV face their hardest match of the 2012 Vodacom Cup so far against the undefeated Western Province on Saturday, the Argentines have had to fight hard for their three wins since their opening defeat to the Eastern Province Kings. In this match they will have to up their game.

Team News: Despite this being the Pampas XV's strongest opponents as yet, the coaches still haven't decided to select the 100% strongest XV and continue to heavily rotate the squad. Examples include the omission of the on form Tomás Cubelli and key goal kicker Santiago González Iglesias only on the bench, the half backs have been swapping throughout the tournament.

Also Bruno Postiglioni starts at tighthead prop replacing Juan Gómez, meaning he has started at all three front row positions over the tournament. Whilst it seemed the coaches were going to give him a run at hooker over the tournament, he has gone back to being switched around the front row. He definitely seems the new Guiñazu.

There is also no place yet for Leonardo Senatore who has returned to the Pampas XV squad after being released by Toulon after Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe returned from injury for them.

Pampas XV15 Román Miralles, 14 Facundo Barrea, 13 Lisandro Gómez Lopez, 12 Gabriel Ascárate, 11 Ramiro Moyano; 10 Benjamín Madero, 9 Martín Landajo; 1 Francisco Piccinini, 2 Emiliano Coria, 3 Bruno Postiglioni; 4 Julio Farías Cabello, 5 Mariano Galarza; 6 Tomás Leonardi, 7 Rodrigo Báez, 8 Lisandro Ahualli

Replacements: 16 Roberto Tejerizo, 17 Germán Aráoz, 18 Santiago Guzmán, 19 Genaro Fessia; 20 Tomás Cubelli, 21 Santiago González Iglesias, 22 Matías Orlando

The Opposition: Western Province

Undefeated in the Vodacom Cup, the Western Province are the feeder team to the Super Rugby leaders the Stormers and are probably the favourites for the Vodacom Cup as well.

They have a much better record than the Pampas XV who are very much the underdogs for this match, they beat the only team to beat the Argentines so far the Eastern Province Kings by five points, and they also thrashed the Boland Kavaliers (the team the Pampas XV had to stage a big comeback to beat in the last minute) and scored 51 points against them.
Demetri Catrikilis

A notable player to watch out for is Demetri Catrikilis, a fly half of Greek origin and who is a very highly rated prospect and seen as a future Springbok, he was a points machine for the Western Province in last year's Currie Cup campaign.

They also have good experience in Danie Poolman, Schalk Ferreira, Wikus Blaauw and former Springbok Hilton Lobberts all of whom have a fair amount of Super Rugby experience.

In the Pampas XV's previous and only meeting against the Western Province in 2010, they were narrowly defeated 19-16, the Argentines will hope to keep the result similarly close and as underdogs hope for an upset.

SWD Eagles15 Kurt Coleman, 14 Danie Poolman, 13 Michael van der Spuy, 12 Marcel Brache, 11 Ederies Arendse; 10 Demetri Catrikilis, 9 Nic Groom; 1 Schalk Ferreira, 2 Sidney Tobias, 3 Wickus Blaauw; 4 Hilton Lobberts, 5 Quinn Roux; 6 Reuben Johannes, 7 Yaasir Hartzenburg, 8 Tyrone Holmes

Replacements: 16 Rohan Kitshoff, 17 Tom Botha, 18 Alistair Vermaak, 19 Wilhelm van der Sluys; 20 Grant Hattingh, 21 Rick Shroeder, 22 Berton Klaasen

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)

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