Sunday, August 5, 2012

Agulla Sends Fourie Flying

Horacio Agulla was still an a amateur player despite being Argentina´ starting left winger at Rugby World Cup 2007. He was named in the initial squad World Cup after having been impressive for his Buenos Aires club, Hindú but his selection was thought of as being cover. Coach Marcelo Loffreda saw a lot of potential in him and had taken him on Argentina´ 2006 November tour of Europe where he came off the bench against England and started against Italy. He was, however in the starting lineup for the opening match of the World Cup and he proved to be up to the challenge by intercepting Remy Martín´ pass which led to Ignacio Corleto touching down for the first try of the tournament. Agulla started on the left wing and formed a back-three with Corleto and Lucas Borges. José Maria Nuñez Piossek had been expected to start but was injured in Argentina´ final warm up match before the tournament, a non-international against a Belgium XV. Agulla scored one try in the tournament as he went over for Argentina´ second try against Ireland. His tournament performances were solid and he looked far from being an amateur player. He started against all teams except Georgia and would go on to be signed to play in the Top 14 for Dax following the tournament. 

One of his interesting World Cup moments occured against South Africa. Many remember him from the match for trying to chase down Bryan Habana during the first of his two tries. But there was another moment in which Agulla was highly visible as he ran back a kick return into South African territory.  Having received the ball on his own 10 metre line, Agulla ran twenty-five metres and simply bumped Jaque Fourie out of the way. He braced for impact by preparing with a low body position and he bulldozed the South Africa out of the way. The high impact sent Fourie flying backwards and into touch as shown on the video below. 

The incident was 100% legal and is an interesting one ahead of The Rugby Championship. Agulla was the best Leicester back in the 2011-2012 season winning player of the year and try of the year. He played on the right wing but spent a few matches at outside centre in place of Manusamoa Tuilagi. Argentina has many options for wing but few for centre with the leading candidates all being specialists in other positions. The favorite for the 13 shirt is Marcelo Bosch who is a natural flyhalf. Others in contention are Santiago Fernández and Martín Rodríguez Gurruchaga who played the entire seasons in France at inside centre. Agulla could well be the player to wear 13 for Argentina. Certainly, the way he charged against Fourie would suggest it is an option worth exploring to the fullest and given his experience and defense it could well be extremely screwed.

1 comment:

  1. Bosch is second centre and Agulla winger.