Sunday, November 11, 2012

Argentina player ratings vs Wales

Argentina player ratings vs Wales:
(10 = Legendary performance, 9 = Outstanding, 8 = Great, 7 = Good, 6 = Solid, 5 = Average, 4 = Below par, 3 = Poor, 2 = Abysmal, 1 = Shocking)

1. Marcos Ayerza - 6/10
Didn't do much wrong in the whole, but should have been expected to get the upperhand on the Welsh scrum who had a tighthead on debut and a completely off form loosehead, and he even cost the Pumas 3 points due to a scrum infringement.

2. Eusebio Guiñazu - 5
Despite Argentina winning all but one of their lineouts, several of Guiñazu's throws were not straight but he got away with it. However despite getting away with it in this match, he will not get away with it every match. He also offered far less around the field than Creevy when he came on, and conceded the most penalties from the Argentine side.

3. Juan Figallo - 6
Decent match from Figallo, although nothing outstanding. A very reliable figure for the Pumas though, very consistent, and rarely has an off day, even if he was a little quiet in this match.

4. Manuel Carizza - 8
One of the most unsung players in world rugby, and stood up to be counted in the absence of Albacete. Was the Pumas main lineout winner and as always showed great stamina, lasting 80 minutes and had good work rate and hits a lot of rucks to maintain ball for Argentina, even if he isn't a carrying presence.

5. Julio Farías Cabello - 6
Man of the Match was captain
Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe
The veteran forward was solid enough in this match, didn't make too much impact, but a decent enough fill in for Albacete. A better option to play than Vallejos.

6. Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe - 9
Fernández Lobbe is fast developing into a legend of Argentine rugby. As per usual, his work rate was absolutely phenomenal. He was everywhere and was a very effective ball carrier, lineout winner and also good at the breakdown winning turnovers. This performance carried on from some good performances in the Rugby Championship and the World Cup, these performances are being produced on a consistent basis. He is one of the top back rowers in the rugby world for sure.

7. Juan Manuel Leguizamón - 8
Was one of Leguizamón's best performances for Argentina. Wasn't the force that Fernández Lobbe was at the breakdown, but made numerous tackles and delivered a solid performance and worked well with the rest of the back row.

8. Leonardo Senatore - 6
Not his most prominent game, but didn't at all let the side down and was part of a back row which proved to be effective and made the Welsh flankers look anonymous. Probably did enough to keep his place ahead of Leonardi next week.

9. Martín Landajo - 5
Landajo was as usual nippy, but the little scrum half just lacks the all around game, well he lacks one area of his game, namely his passing a rather important facet of being a scrum half. Nicolás Sánchez received a large amount of poor passing throughout the match, from right above his head or down to his toes. He offers a good sniping running game, but does he offer the control and passing skills good enough to keep his place in the long term. Especially with Tomás Cubelli waiting for a chance on the sidelines.

10. Nicolás Sánchez - 7
The Vodacom Cup winning fly half has showed all signs so far in his career that he is a good temperament for international rugby. He looked composed in the South Africa match in Mendoza and made an impact coming on in the Australia match in Rosario. After some good form for Bordeaux, he was given his chance due to the absence of Amorosino to club duty, and again Sánchez looked composed and handled the match well. He was targeted as a weak link in defence by Wales and stood up well, and in attack he offered more than Hernández and calmly struck two nice drop goals, whilst despite his first two goal kicks going astray that aspect of his game looked good too, and goal kicking will be crucial for the Pumas if they want wins in the last two matches of their European tour. Surely Sánchez deserves to keep his place starting at 10 for the rest of the tour now.

11. Juan Imhoff - 8
Did what he does better than any other Argentine player. Score tries. His left Leigh Halfpenny for dead at full back after running a great support line to receive an offload from Fernández Lobbe, no other Argentine winger would have scored that try. Which is exactly why Imhoff simply had to start, and really Phelan could have made him first choice a lot earlier than this match. His defensive problems didn't occur in the end either, even making a tackle on big Alex Cuthbert.

12. Felipe Contepomi - N/A
Wasn't on the field long enough to get a mark in what could be his 79th and last game for the Pumas in an international career spanning 14 years.

13. Gonzalo Tiesi - 8
The big Welsh backs kept on running at him and then he kept chopping them down despite conceding a fair amount in weight to them. He didn't offer much ball carrying in attack which may be a concern in the long term, but for this match he did excellently in nullifying the Welsh attack and his long injury lay off wasn't an issue in the end. The Welsh looked clueless of what to do when the smaller Argentine backs just kept chopping them down.
Scott Williams
Despite his small size, Gonzalo
Camacho time and time again
chopped down big backs who were
substantially bigger than him.

14. Gonzalo Camacho - 9
Surely Camacho's best match for the Pumas. I don't know if there is a better tackler for his small size and weight. Despite being only 5 foot 8 inches and 82 kilograms, Camacho completely shut down the big Welsh wingers Cuthbert and North, something which few players have achieved so far in the RaboPro12 this season. Along with his defence, Camacho also superbly finished a try in the corner. It's a sign of the times now that the matchwinners in the Pumas side were on the wings, and it wasn't just a stereotypical Pumas performance dominated by the pack.

15. Juan Martín Hernández - 6
Hernández's first match at 15 for 6 years for Argentina, and he was decent until going off injured early in the second half. He is still probably one of the best practitioners at the up and unders in the game and he released several successful bombs on the Welsh back three with even the reliable Halfpenny not doing so well under them. Concerning though that this is the second Pumas match in a row that he has walked off earlier than anticipated due to an injury. Hopefully it's just precautionary and he's fine for next week though. Surely Sánchez deserves to keep the #10 shirt though, and Hernández to stay at 15 if fit, with Amorosino coming in if not.

(+ = Positive impact, = = Neutral impact, - = Negative impact)

16. Agustín Creevy - +
Offers so much more than Guiñazu around the field, and unleashed one of his famous offloads to help the Pumas beat the gainline on one occasion. Must at some point get a chance to regain the jersey he lost due to an unfortunate injury against Stade Français.

17. Bruno Postiglioni - =
Came on at 78 minutes.

18. Juan Gómez - +
Argentina fifth choice tighthead got his chance due to the unavailability of Maximiliano Bustos, Francisco Gómez Kodela and Nahuel Lobo. And despite the four year break in his international career coming about as he didn't really impress in his previous tests, he did very well in his chance here, winning a scrum against the head against Gethin Jenkins and a scrum penalty against Ryan Bevington.

19. Tomás Vallejos - =
Got another cap off the bench and didn't really do much, the story of his international career.

20. Tomás Leonardi - =
Not his prominent cap as impact sub, but didn't let the side down, and has clearly improved since touring with the Pumas three years ago in 2009 as a youngster.

21. Nicolás Vergallo - =
Landajo was struggling with his passing, and Vergallo unfortunately wasn't much better although he did offer some good control and marshalled the last few minutes expertly for the Pumas.

22. Horacio Agulla - +
Made a positive impact from the bench and looked itching to get onto the field.

23. Joaquín Tuculet - 6
Another player who let nobody down, despite coming on a lot earlier than he might have expected and not in the position he might have expected. His very competent performance could open the door for him to be a handy player on the bench as he covers all positions in the outside backs. But Rodríguez will probably take that role when fit again.

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