Friday, July 26, 2013

Retro Friday - Argentina scrum scores four tries in a match

Mario Ledesma, Mauricio Reggiardo and Roberto Grau
The evolving scrum engagement laws are to see a return to the era in which there was a bind but no hit. This is, in other words, great news for Argentine rugby as it means the technique rather than the physical strength will take precedence and is likely to see a return of the much feared Pumas frontrow. Under the laws of crouch, touch, pause, engage or crouch, touch, set the South American´s have not been as impressive in the scrum as previously. 

The new laws will be applied in the upcoming Rugby Championship which should be of grave concern to new Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie who is taking over a team which was bullied by the British and Irish Lions in the recent two-one series defeat. Australia was severely disadvantaged even though its scrum was at full strength. The Australians were proven to not have the same quality of scrum as that of the visitors. With the change of laws for the Rugby Championship there have been a number of people raising the question of the possibility of a return of the bajadita - the classic Pumas scrum. 

In Rugby World Cup 2003 the Argentine scrum was certainly a powerful weapon. So much so that the South Americans scored four tries from scrums in a match against African qualifiers Namibia. It was the second pool match for Argentina in the tournament while Namibia was playing for the first time. Marcelo Loffreda make wholesale chnages for the match as he looked to determine who would be taking the field in Adelaide for the crucial fixture against Ireland.  

This saw the South Americans field an entirely different front five to that which faced Australia in the tournament opener. Roberto Grau, Mario Ledesma, Omar Hasan, Carlos Ignacio Fernández Lobbe and Patricio Albacete were replaced by Mauricio Reggiardo, Federico Mendez, Martin Scelzo, Rimas Alvarez Kairellis and Pedro Sporleder. Amazingly, Rodrigo Roncero was on the bench. The changes did not see the level drop as, to the contrary, the Pumas scored four tries from scrum pushovers with two being penalty tries and Pablo Bouza scoring twice from the back of the scrum. 

1 comment:

  1. They also scored 2 in the Romania match as well, but unfortunately it wasn't quite so effective against Ireland.

    This was when the Argentine front row was at it's peak years. Grau, Reggiardo, Roncero, Ledesma, Mendez, Hasan, Scelzo all available for selection at the same time. Loffreda could have picked any combination and had a superb front row.

    Unfortunately only really Ayerza and Figallo have since emerged as proven international standard and still neither are near the level of the names above.