Sunday, June 24, 2012

France crush Argentina but Tucumán delivers as a potential World Cup venue

Photo: UAR Julio Farías impressed before being replaced through injury
Argentina suffered its biggest ever loss against France on Saturday as Le Bleus completed a 49-10 victory over a Los Pumas side missing 24 players who have been rested ahead of The Rugby Championship. France produced a complete performance, playing well in all areas of the game to completely outplay the home side at the Estadio José Fierro in Tucumán. The stadium was full, with a vibrant crowd present hoping for more of the same after Argentina had defeated both Italy and France over the past two weekends. They left disappointed, however, as France produced the unpredctable performance that makes them unstoppable when they are on their game. 

At the heart of the French victory was debutant scrumhalf Maxime Machenaud who replaced Morgan Parra and put on an outstanding display of attacking scrumhalf rugby. He distributed well and allowed the returngin Frederic Michalak to link well with his backline. Michalak alonside Maxime Mermoz had very good performances but so did the backs in general as Florian Fritz did well at outside centre and both Yoann Huget and Benjamin Fall were good on the wings. France´s try scorers were Fall, Huget (2), Machenaud, Mermoz and backrower, Alexandre Lapandry. 

Santiago Phelan´ quest to find six players to complete a squad of 30 players for The Rugby Championship should he much clearer now after a number of players failed to perform at the level required. He has already named five frontrowers and will be looking for two others. The three who started in Tucumán were all outplayed vs the French, suggesting that none will be called up with Rodrigo Roncero and Bruno Postiglioni likely to be the extra prop and hooker instead. Both secondrower had fine performances with Julio Farías Cabello all but certain to make the squad despite playing only 30 minutes while Esteban Lozada was Argentina´ best forward. Tomás De La Vega scored Argentina´ only try and had a good match as did Tomás Leonardí who joined him on the side of the scrum. Leonardo Senatore, on the other hand, was unable to impress from number 8. Two of the three should make the squad.

While the scrum was badly beaten, the winning and losing of this match came from the backs with France putting in its best performance of 2012 by quite some distance. Debuting at scrumhalf, Tomás Cubelli was outplayed by Machenaud but he did provide quick, go-forward ball and should make the squad. Flyhalf Benjamín Urdapilleta made poor decisions and had a forgetable performance as did Felipe Contepomi at inside centre, captaining Los Pumas for the final time. Contepomi held firm in defence, however, while Agustín Gosio like Urdapilleta proved to not be good enough for this level. The back three had few chances with neither winger recieving much ball at all. Joaquúin Tuculet, at fullback was alongside Cubelli the positive thing to come out from the backs in Tucumán. 


15 Joaquin Tuculet 
14 Facundo Barrea
13 Agustin Gosio
12 Felipe Contepomi
11 Manuel Montero
10 Benjamin Urdapilleta
9 Tomas Cubelli
8 Leonardo Senatore
7 Tomas Leonardi
6 Tomas De la Vega
5 Esteban Lozada
4 Julio Farias Cabello
3 Francisco Gomez Kodela
2 Andres Bordoy
1 Eusebio Guinazu

Reserves: 16 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 17 Bruno Postiglioni, 18 Santiago Guzman, 19 Benjamin Macome, 20 Rodrigo Baez, 21 Martin Landajo, 22 Gabriel Ascarate


15 Brice Dulin
14 Benjamin Fall
13 Florian Fritz
12 Maxime Mermoz
11 Yoann Huget
10 Frederic Michalak
9 Maxime Machenaud
8 Louis Picamoles
7 Fulgence Ouedraogo
6 Alexandre Lapandry
5 Yoan Maestri
4 Pascal Pape
3 David Attoub
2 Dimitri Szarzewski
1 Vincent Debaty

Reserves: 16 Christopher Tolofua, 17 Thomas Domingo, 18 Christopher Samson, 19 Wenceslas Lauret , 20 Morgan Parra, 21 Francois Trinh Duc, 22 Wesley Fofana.

1 comment:

  1. A truly disaster, but with non experienced players. Not is an excuse, is the attempt to explain this catastrophic result. Also, the Frenchs wanted cut the way of 13 years without a victory over Argentine in this land. Excellent match by the frenchs, a truly Rugby Champagne, a brilliant exhibition of well rugby. The Argentines, .......better not talk.