Monday, August 5, 2013

Phelan looking to field the same side

Contepomi and Sánchez:
bench bound?

Today´s preperation for the second friendly match between Los Pumas and New South Wales saw Santiago Phelan sticking to the same fifteen players who took the field in La Plata. Phelan´s team in training today was unchanged from Saturday. This, while the team to start against the Australians remains unconfirmed it would appear reasonable to assume that wholesale changes are not likely. Considering the final score and the high error rate it would appear that a number of players are being given a second chance to impress and not simply a case that Phelan has already determined who will start against South Africa. The performance of Agustín Creevy, for instance, from the bench against New South Wales was clearly of a different calibre than that of the starting hooker Eusebio Guiñazú. Creevy though did not train as the starting hooker today. Other cases saw the likes of Juan Imhoff, Juan Manuel Leguizamón and Nicolás Sánchez all left out despite many expecting them to all start against the Springboks. 

The training today saw the return of props Nahuel Lobo and Juan Pablo Orlandi. Both were unable to featured at all against the Australians on Saturday due to injury. Neither Patricio Albacete nor Julio Farías Cabello featured however with both needing as much time as possible on the sidelines to recover ahead of the Rugby Championship. While neither Bruno Postiglioni nor the future Chiefs Super Rugby player Tomás Lavanini are in the Pumas squad for the tournament both were in the training group today but were outside of the starting lineup. The chances of either splaying in the Rugby Championship remain slim but they are both set to be called up should another player be injured. 

Today´s Training Lineup
1 Marcos Ayerza, 2 Eusebio Guiñazú, 3 Juan Figallo
4 Manuel Carizza, 4 Mariano Galarza
6 Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe, 8 Leonardo Senatore, 7 Pablo Matera

9 Martín Landajo, 10 Juan Martín Hernández
12 Santiago Fernández, 13 Gonzalo Tiesi
11 Horacio Agulla, 15 Martín Rodríguez Gurruchaga, 14 Gonzalo Camacho 


  1. Last year he just largely kept the side that started both matches against Stade, looks like it will be the same or similar here.

    Can't agree with selection. Guinazu is just dining out on that one run vs South Africa last year.

    The backline is full of steady players but he has left out the try scoring magic of players who can create something out of nothing like Imhoff, Amorosino, Cordero or Sanchez.

    So without try scorers in his team the Pumas aren't likely going to score enough tries to win matches, so the lineup would need to have an eagle eye kicker to gain every point possible. But he has left out the best goal kickers as well.

    The team picked can defend okay, but will struggle to score too many points without try scorers and goal kickers. I don't understand it.

    Just a question by the way. Have any details emerged about the woeful Ireland performance? Any idea why it was so bad? It seemed Argentina took a step forward vs Wales then took two steps back. Argentina really shouldn't be losing to a side of Ireland's level like that. They should have been at least close.

    I wonder whether perhaps that match has caused Phelan to go backwards to the more negative selection policy in leaving out attackers like Sanchez and Imhoff.

    1. Cordero is not ready yet (defensively he will be too easily exposed) but I do like your ethos... Imhoff (wing) and Amorosino (fullback) should start with Camacho/Agulla the more industrious 3rd option.

  2. I despair with Phelan. This is as talented a group of players - with depth - ever that Argentina have had but the team is going backwards purely because of poor selection. Players not playing in their best positions and not enough of a risk to beat the top 3 teams. 2015 looks like it might be an opportunity missed.

  3. Despair all you like, Phelan has been an amazing coach for the Pumas and the results in the last world cup and 4Nations speak for themselves. In Tati we trust !

    1. Really? I don't know why some make out the RWC to be a great success for the Pumas. They threw away a match against an underperforming England side (which was a loss typical of Phelan's reign), and then fluked a win over Scotland when Contepomi was offside in the last play.

      The achievement in the RWC and the RC was the minimum required in my opinion. Don't know why the fans are settling for so much less than they got under Loffreda's reign.

  4. An amazing coach, Noooooooooo.....

    But his problem isn't about his quality/qualities, it's about his experience or lack of it. He coached an amatuer side at club level in BA and that has rubbed off on his selections and player policy.

    The UAR should've seen it coming. Loffreda, Egg or if SR( I quite like Wayne Smith for the job) in please.

    Forget the chicken dinner and pick a winner!

    1. Smith would certainly get those backs firing... the talent is there for sure! Can't wait for Patricio Fernandez to mature, he is already such an accomplished player. He is going to be the player JMH was going to be before he had all those injuries...

  5. "The achievement in the RWC and the RC was the minimum required in my opinion. Don't know why the fans are settling for so much less than they got under Loffreda's reign".

    Yeah, very funny guy you are. 'Minimum required' ? Why you acting so silly when you know expectations with first 4N were exceeded beyond what anyone predicted, in Argentina, or the international media ?? This is fact. Not something anyone can argue in good faith. And who picked Amorosino to come train with the Pumas when you had no idea even he existed as a player ? Who put Amorosino on the plane ? Who put Amorosino at the precise moment, at the perfect moment, to bring that sweet game with a higher ranked team to a happy ending ? What does Tati have to do to get the credit ? Dress up with the number 15 shirt himself and run in the try himself too, ja, ja,ja, very funny guy you are "fluke", ja, ja, ja. And who called Figallo to start training with Pumas when you did not even know he existed ? Who put Figallo on plane to new zealand ? Who put Figallo to start at youngest age with great veteran sitting in bench ? Ja ja ja, very funny guy you are. Also "fluke" that Figallo got picked player of the group of death ? Ja ja ja funny guy, tipo gracioso as they say in my hometown, jajaj. And when Tiesi was injured, who was behind him to replace him ???? fluke ???? Ja ja ja very funny guy you are my friend, you like red or white wine ???? Ja, Ja, Ja, And when the Pumas held New Zealand for 60 minutes at Eden Park with wondering in the world if it could be possible Pumas could win, "fluke", "minimun" ???? ja ja ja ja, maybe you can recommend some of the stuff you are drinking my very funny friend !

    Viva el Tati Phelan the bestest amateur coach in the world cup history and champion amateur rugby coach of the world today !!
    VAMOS !!

    1. Incredible glorification of mediocrity, by a possible Phelan family member?

      Tyical Argentine attitude of just being happy not to get thrashed in the 4N. Don't you want to win? Or do you not mind that Argentina blew 2 wins last year against injured/rebuilding sides Aus and SA?

      By the way, I said that reaching the RWC quarter final was lucky as Contepomi got away with a blatant offside in the final minute vs Scotland. And anything less than a QF for the Pumas at RWC would be a failure.

    2. BEH, Beeman or Physick Duck stop being a dushbag all the time. Phelan is mediocre but that does not make the rest of us the same. You are always talking about promoting the game for the rugby minnows but your condesendant tone makes me like football more.



      We will see just how "mediocre" Santiago Phelan is very soon enough.


  6. Do you know who John Eales is ?

    This is r e s p e c t from someone who actually counts in the rugby lore. Who are you mr nobody funny guy ????

    "If you were to construct the perfect rugby team, they would play with the everlasting commitment of the Argentinian Pumas. Their somewhat benign light blue and white jersey belies their ferocity, as they play as if they have a black arm band permanently stitched on their sleeve. Forget the anthem – these guys shed tears over breakfast.

    Other coaches must covet the Pumas' commitment, and would kill to catch just part of that fever; the fever that denies any instinct for self-preservation and puts honour above all else. Such sentiment is neither easily nor quickly manufactured; rather, it's part of the DNA."

    Read more:

    "Some may surmise the Wallabies' narrow escape in this match is another indication of Australian rugby's demise. I think it more accurately reflects Argentina's rise."

    VAMOS !!

    1. Typical Pumas fan. It doesn't matter about winning. All that matters is that the players put in a good effort no matter how limited they are.

      Unfortunately Phelan shares this philosophy, and is loathed to select the mavericks who can do something special. In favour of solid, plucky but pretty ordinary players.

      It is the equivalent of Wales selecting Sonny Parker ahead of Gavin Henson for example like Gareth Jenkins did in 2007. A similar regime to that of Phelan, he dropped all the mavericks and non conformists, and ended up with a similar win % of around 30.

      Unlike Argentina though, Wales weren't satisfied and sacked him and got a better coach and are now much stronger.

      The Pumas are satisfied with a coach with half the win rate of his predecessor and with a total of 4 losses to Scotland and Italy on his record, merely because the players show commitment.

      With this attitude the Pumas will just get the odd upset now and again and never become a top 4 side like they were under Loffreda.

  7. Guys I think that this has gone far enough. No more hand bags. We are down with Phelan and with other "good" rugby blokes.

    We don't have to start acting like B. Moore and D. Armitage.

    That's what sets ARG apart from other unions, their nobleness!

  8. Phelan just not quite up to it. Watching Argentina has been frustrating because the squad has a forward pack to match (though not dominate) anyones but has backs with more X Factor than many of the teams in the world. Rodriguez, Hernandez, Agulla, Imhoff, Amorosino, Cordero, Bosch, Sanchez all have their weaknesses but can do things that most international players can only dream of. It's a golden generation and the Pumas must take the risk.

    Backing Matera and Diaz has been an important step in finding international depth in their positions ahead of 2015 so I praise him there.

  9. As we say in Argentina, "los pingos se ven en la cancha", and we shall see soon who is right about Santiago Phelan - a GREAT coach for los PUMAS, who has done all the dirty work of rebuilding a team practically from scratch. Winning games and re-building a team are two COMPLETE DIFFERENT processes. A thankless process, obviously.

    All those names you mention were brought on board by Santiago Phelan. That's one of Tati's greatest strengths as I have already pointed out with facts from his world cup and you choose to ignore. He is a great selector.

    And it's not just the names of the backs, it takes years to get a system oiled well enough for those names to perform up to their potential. You don't know zilch about rugby if you just concentrate on the names. Rugby is a team sport. The system is more important than any one name or handful of names. You are always going on about names and you don't respect the TEAM concept.

    All those 24 names are potential starters. You call out for new talent but when Matera plays what happens ? You highlight the two lone negative instances of his game and forget to point out that he had a GREAT overall game. And Then you say "he is not ready" ! So you contradict yourself. And you contradict yourself because you are not arguing in good faith and you really don't care anything or feel anything about the Pumas jersey. You are not PUMA fans. You are PUMA trolls.

    And you don't just wake up one morning and decide you are going to play southern hemisphere rugby after you have been playing pick and go and kicking the ball away to contest possession for the past hundred years. Because when you play four international games a year that's all there is. That and defense. So it's not like argentine players are not capable of playing dynamic rugby. Its that we never have a chance to fine tune those kinds of platforms and aquire that rugby culture.

    They take time to practice together; they take time to aquire together; and they take time to implement in real games. And it can't be done fast. It's a whole rugby culture that has to change. A mentality. And Santiago Phelan has had the balance just right, especially the beginning of the process.

    This team doesn't look like anything like the one he took charge - including the play. And I'm so damn proud of Santiago Phelan to tell it like it is. And then to see a blog like this that has no compunction to sully his reputation with mean spirited and malicious lies about his record. It's an injustice. The very coaches that lined up their teams in the 4Nations - all remarked that Santiago Phelan was equal to the task and lavished much praise on his coaching and the passion with which the team played against their teamsv- it's not just J.E's. article, a legend of Australian sports.

    So where is your sense of decency and fair play ? This is a man's life you are talking about with an impeccable record who played rugby himself for our national team. Your disrespect and malice is not just with him, its with his colleagues, its with his players, with a sovereign nation, with all Argentinians, and even with his family. Have you no sense of decency or shame ?

    And what frustrates you about el Tati, and is also wonderful about him, is that he does EXACTLY as he thinks is best for the TEAM. You and critics don't exist. He just rolls up his sleeves and with his technical staff shows up to work. And always performs beyond what anyone expects. So then the puma trolls like you have no other choice but to raise the bar once again. It's not just that it is astonishing disrespect with a dedicated professional, but also with intellectual integrity. Safe to say you are no gentleman.

    And now you are about to find out just how good of a coach this guy really is. But we know what teams you will be rooting for, so why argue ?


  10. "Some may surmise the Wallabies' narrow escape in this match is another indication of Australian rugby's demise. I think it more accurately reflects Argentina's rise."

    John Eales

    VAMOS !!