Saturday, October 13, 2012

Argentina and Canada open the Americas Rugby Championship as winners

2012 IRB Americas Rugby Championship



There were no surprizes in the first round of the 2012 Americas Rugby Championship in Canada. The round was played in the British Columbia city of Langford on Friday. The host nation took on Uruguay while Argentina faced the United States of America. The Argentine A side known as Los Jaguares completed a comfortable victory over the USA´s A team, known as the USA Selects. It featured a number of players from Los Pampas XV and squad member from The Rugby Championship - Tomás De La Vega, Manuel Montero, Bruno Postiglioni and the teams captain, Tomás Cubelli. All were in Santiago Phelan´s thirty-three man squad but none recieved any game time in the tournament. They are all contenders for the November tour of Wales, France and Ireland with Tomás De La Vega and Tomás Cubelli both having strong chances of starting at least one of the matches. Canada and Uruguay have both selected their squads with a view to November while the USA´s squad is far more experimental. 

The competition is not only designed to close the gap between domestic club level and the international stage for players. It also serves the same purpose for officials. The matches are refereed by officials from the Americas. Los Jaguares v USA Selects was Joaquin Montero from Uruguay while Canada v Uruguay was refereed by Juan Sylvestre of Argentina. The 2012 tournament is the third edition. The first was played in 2009, also in North America. On that occassion Los Jaguares were champions after defeating Canadian provincial side, the BC Bears in the final. The 2010 tournament was played in Córdoba with the Argentine side again winning. There was no event in 2011 due to the time restictions that come in a World Cup year. 


Canada Selects 28-10 Uruguay A 
Canada were expected to win but could well have wanted to win by more. Both sides have squads featuring a combination of fringe players and current internationals. Canada had two notable players in its starting lineup - Hubert Buydens and Connor Braid. Uruguay also had some players of note such as prop Alejo Corral and fullback Jeronimo Etcheverry. Canada has always had a superior test team and it also has stronger depth with the A team also being better than the Uruguayan equivalent. The sport is bigger in Canada and the country has a solid structure to see players develop. The Canadian Rugby Championship was designed for this perpose. It utilizes the best players throughout the country and combines them into regional teams. In contrast, Uruguay´s domestic championship continues to be a club format which is dominated by Montevideo clubs. Neither Canada nor Uruguay called upon European based players for the competition due to it being played in October which is outside of the IRB´s international window. Clubs have no reason to release players and, similarly, the purpose of the competition is for players who lack exposure to the professional game to compete against similar players. 


Canada´s eighteen point victory was positive but not without complications. The Canadian scrum was a concern with Uruguay having the upper hand in this area and also with mauls. Another concern was the North American´s switching off as Canada had held a 25-3 lead but Uruguay fought back to score a try and it seemed to give Uruguay more confidence. It should put Los Teros in a good position to seriously challenge the USA Selects in round two this coming Tuesday. 
Canada

1. HUBERT BUYDENS
2. OWEN PARFREY
3. DOUG WOOLDRIDGE
4. CHRIS LONG
5. JON PHELAN
6. ZAC COUGHLAN
7. TONI WODZICKI
8. TYLER ARDRON (Captain)
9. KYLE ARMSTRONG
10. CONNOR BRAID
11. CLAYTON MEERES
12. PATRICK PARFREY
13. NICK BLEVINS
14. JOSH HART
15. LIAM UNDERWOOD


Reserves
16. RAY BARKWILL

17. CREAG JOHNSTON
18. JACOB RUMBALL
19. AARON FLAGG
20. SEB PEARSON
21. ALISTAIR CLARK
22. PAT KAY
23. JORDAN WILSON-ROSS


Uruguay

1. ALEJO CORRAL
2. ARTURO AVALO (Captain)
3. OSCAR DURAN
4. FRANCO LAMANNA
5. CRISTOFER SOARES DE LIMA CRISTOFER
6. FERNANDO BASCOU
7. DIEGO MAGNO
8. JUAN DIEGO ORMAECHEA 
9. GUILLERMO LIJTENSTEIN
10. FELIPE BERCHESI
11. GASTON MIERES
12. RODRIGO MARTINEZ
13. SANTIAGO GIBERNAU
14. PABLO BUENO
15. JERONIMO ETCHEVERRY


Reserves
16. RODOLFO DE MULA

17. JUAN PEDRO ROMBYS
18. SEBASTIAN SAGARIO
19. MATHIAS PALOMEQUE
20. FRANCISCO VECINO
21. JUAN DE FREITAS
22. FEDERICO FAVARO
23. ALEJO DURAN


Los Jaguares 39-3 USA Selects
A five tries to nil thrashing saw the Argentine side lay down a marker in this tournament. It was a game played in wet and windy conditions but this did not stop Los Jaguares at all. Los Jaguares were superior in the set pieces and in broken play. The Argentineans had the upper hand from the start with the USA losing its first scrum. The problem continued throughout as Los Jaguares dominated the scrums. But the South Americans played open, running rugby. Santiago Gonzalo Iglesias kicked two early penalties while his opposite Gearoid McDonald missed two. Tomás Cubelli set up the first try was he broke the line and offloaded to inside centre Javier Rojas. From there the game was all but taken away from the North Americans. It was further complicated when backrower, Taylor Mokate was forced from the field, being replaced by Kris Headlee.   

The USA tried had to score and Miles Craigwell added some spice from the bench but the South Americans defense was not to be breached. The difference between the sides was preperation. While the majority of the Argentine players are familiar with each other and the coach from the Vodacom Cup the USA players have largely been thrown together for the tournament. It saw Argentina stick to a game plan and work together effectively. The USA, in contrast seemed to be a group of individuals needing much more time together. 


USA

1. NICHOLAS WALLACE
2. DEREK ASBUN
3. ZACHARY FENOGLIO
4. TOM KATZFEY
5. GRAHAM HARRIMAN
6. CAM DOLAN (Captain)
7. JOHN QUILL
8. TAYLOR MOKATE
9. BENNY MATEIALONA
10. GEAROID MCDONALD
11. ZACHARY PANGELINAN
12. JACK TRACY
13. DEAN GERICKE
14. CORNELIUS DIRKSEN
15. CHRIS CHAPMAN



Reserves
16. STAN MOAALII

17. TONY PURPURA
18. TIM PAULSEN
19. NICHOLAS CIVETTA
20. KRIS HEADLEE
21. SHAUN DAVIES
22. ZACHARY MIZELL
23. MILES CRAIGWELL



Argentina

1. FRANCISCO PICCININI 
2. BRUNO POSTIGLIONI
3. JUAN GOMEZ
4. FELIPE ARANGUREN
5. MATIAS ALEMANO
6. TOMAS DE LA VEGA
7. RODRIGO BRUNO
8. BENJAMIN MACOME
9. TOMAS CUBELLI (Captain)
10. SANTIAGO GONZALEZ IGLESIAS
11. MANUEL MONTERO
12. JAVIER ROJAS
13. JERONIMO DE LA FUENTE
14. FACUNDO BARREA
15. ROMAN MIRALLES



Reserves
16. IGNACIO SAENZ LANCUBA

17. RAMIRO HERRERA
18. MARTIN GARCIA VEIGA
19. ALEJANDRO CAMPOS
20. LISANDRO AHUALLI
21. MARCOS BOLLINI
22. VALENTIN CRUZ
23. MOYANO RAMIRO



Round Two

Tuesday October 16 Los Jaguares v Uruguay A, 5:30pm
Tuesday October 16 Canada Selects v USA Selects, 7:30pm 

Round Three 

Saturday October 20 USA Selects v Uruguay A, 5:30pm

Saturday October 20 Canada Selects v Los Jaguares, 7:30pm



Americas Rugby Championship Standings

1 Los Jaguares 5 
2 Canada Selects 4
3 Uruguay A 0
4 USA Selects 0


8 comments:

  1. "Tomás De La Vega and Tomás Cubelli both having strong chances of starting at least one of the matches".

    Wrong. Whilst I personally agree with you that both should be in the Pumas side in November, you need to remember that Santiago Phelan is selecting the side.

    He has shown throughout his time in charge little indication to introduce younger players, and despite hopes he might post RWC, he basically stayed with nearly the exact same RWC side just minus Ledesme and Contepomi.

    He didn't even start Juan Imhoff when it was/still is so obvious that he is Argentina's best winger. So despite wanting Cubelli, Imhoff, de la Vega all to feature more in November, it is Phelan selecting, so I wouldn't say they have a strong chance of starting.

    In my opinion, I would start Cubelli at 9 with Landajo as a impact sub, de la Vega should be introduced and should be in the side to replace Farías Cabello by next year, and Imhoff should also start.

    But unless the November side is likely to be weakened we will likely see this side again ...

    Ayerza, Guinazu, Figallo, Carizza, Albacete, Farías Cabello, Leguizamón, Fernández Lobbe, Landajo, Hernández, Agulla, Fernández, Bosch, Camacho, Amorosino

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ayerza, Creevy, Figallo, Carizza, Albacete, Farías Cabello, Leguizamón, Fernández Lobbe, Landajo, Hernández, Imhoff, Contepomi, Bosch, Camacho, Amorosino

      I think Farias is retiring after November so he will play. Contepomi is going to play if he is picked.

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    2. Phelan did experiment a bit in the November tours from 2008-2010. Agulla, for instance played fullback in 2009 and in 2010 was not picked. He was on the bench with Rodríguez at fullback and the wingers were Camacho and González Amorosino.

      In 2009 he experimented with the secondrow a lot. Sambucetti even started against Wales. In 2010 de Achaval started in the backrow as did a 32 year old debutant - Julio Farías Cabello.

      Hopefully he DOES experiment this November.

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    3. The Puma's best winger is Camacho and Imhoff if he ever wants to start for Argentina better learn how to play defence. No defence, no Puma.

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    4. This is certainly what Phelan thinks against the SANZAR sides. But in the November internationals there will be more chances and Imhoff is much more likely to score tries than any other Argentine winger. Should he do so then the seeds will be in place for him to do what most people seem to want - have him start at 11.

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  2. Interesting points about the scrum by the way, sounds like both Canada and USA scrums struggled which continues to be a major problem. Sounds like none of these scrummagers have taken their chance to stake a claim for the November tour.

    Also interesting to note Cornelius Dirksen (Hanno's brother) is playing for the USA. Does this make him locked to the USA now?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If the USA Selects is actually USA A then Cornelius is now locked to the States.

      Delete
    2. Like the anonymous poster pointed out he should now be USA Rugby property. If a player playes for one of the test team, A team or Sevens team that is his nation for life.

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