Friday, April 5, 2013

Retro Friday - Lucas Borges scores twice in two minutes against Wales in 2004

Lucas Borges scores for Argentina against Ireland at the Parc des Princes

One of the lesser known mega matches to have occurred in the professional era took place in the northern Argentine city of Tucumán in June 2004. Los Pumas took on Wales in the first of two home tests in what was the first time Argentina had played against a Tier One opponent since its early exit from Rugby World Cup 2003. In losing against Ireland 16-15 in Adelaide Argentina was on a very early plane ride home. t was so early that Argentina had been eliminated from the World Cup before Englad had even played its third pool match of the tournament. Furthermore, when Wales played its fourth pool match eight entire days had passed by since Argentina´s elimination. 

To start over the UAR had Argentina play in Tucumán, a traditional and proud rugby city that has produced may Pumas over the years and, in which, the public always turn up in large numbers for international matches. The crowd was treated to an epic match in which 94 points were scored with Argentina winning 50-44 by scoring six tries to five. The defining moment of the match came from the kick-off which started the second half. Hvaing held a 19-9 half time lead, Argentina scored two tries to begin the second half perfectly. Both were scored by Lucas Borges who was playing in place of the recently retired Diego Albanese. Borges had big boots to fill and did so well in what would be one of his biggest contributions on the field for his country. 

Borges´ first try in the Tucumán test was a brilliant team try which came from a clean linebreak from secondrower Patricio Albacete. The now Pumas vice-captain off-loaded to his long time colleague in the Argentine secondrow, Carlos Ignacio Fernández Lobbe. After getting good quick ball Argentine spun it wide from right to left with Felipe Contepomi attracting  two defenders and finding Gonzalo Longo free outside him. Longo then passed to Manuel Contepomi who found Borges unmarked allowing him to dive over untouched. 30 seconds of game time later Borges was over again after the restart kick saw the ball bounce directly into his arms and he ran 60 metres to score. With Felipe Contepomi´s boot on target Argentina found itself leading 31-9 four minutes into the secondhalf. 

Borges would score a double for Argentina on three other occassions. The most noteworthy was against Georgia in Lyon as part of Rugby World Cup 2007. On that evening Borges scored Argentina´s second and third tries after Albacete had scored the first and Federico Martín Aramburu would score the fourth on full time which sealed the bonus point for the South Americans. Earlier in his career he scored a double against Paraguay in 2003 and then again against Venezuela in 2004. Borges finished his inernational career in 2010 against Ireland as a replacement, the same team whom he scored a crucial try against in Rugby World Cup 2007. He played 32 tests, scoring 14 tries. 

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