|Argentina v Samoa|
Los Pumitas have their eyes on a second consecutive Semi Final appearance in the IRB Junior World Championship. Standing in the South American´s way is Wales, who the Argentina under 20 side will face today at the Stade Henri Desgrange in La Roche-sut-Yon. The two sides are undefeated after two rounds with Argentina having defeating Scotland 44-13 and Samoa 28-16. Wales claimed a strong first round 42-3 win over Samoa before having a much harder time against Scotland in round two. The 26-21 win means both Argentina and Wales are on nine competition points and the prize for the winner is a place in the final four. Depending on other results there is the possbiity of both advancing but it would require bonus points and second places sides in other pools to lose badly.
The star for Argentina so far in the tournament has been flyhalf Santiago Fernández who has continued on with his fine form in the three match series against the Baby Boks in April. Fernández organized a well-oiled backline that got the better of its South African rivals in the second test and also backed up to win the third and with it the series. He had the backs funtioning very well and the danger of Santiago Cordero from the back gave Argentina an x-factor and sent wanrings to the world that there is reason to feel a repeat of Rugby World Cup 2007 could be in the making with these players likely to be in their prime come Rugby World cup 2019.
Both Argentina and Wales have made a series of changes to their starting lineups for the decisive encounter. The nature of the IRB Junior World Championship is such that teams cannot field their best players in every match. The short-turn arounds complicate matters exteremely. In the case of both Argentina and Wales the match schedule accounts for both teams having a much tougher time in their round two matches than in the first round. Their round three teams therefore see a return to normality with some highly promising players on both sides. There are a number who could very well take the field at Rugby World Cup 2015. From an Argentine perspective the players showing the most promise could be Fernández, Santiago Cordero and Pablo Matera. The three will need to be on their game against Wales.
Argentina: 1- Lucas Noguera Paz, 2- Santiago Iglesias, 3- Matías Díaz, 4- Guido Petti Pagadizabal, 5- Tomás Lavanini, 6- Tomás Lezana, 7- Pablo Matera, 8- Gerónimo Mazzoni, 9- Felipe Ezcurra (C), 10- Patricio Fernández, 11- Germán Schultz, 12- Joaquín Paz, 13- Santiago Álvarez, 14- Rodrigo Etchart, Santiago Cordero.