Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Juan Leguizamón puts in hard tackles on Wallaby wingers

Leguizamón in tears after RWC Semi Final loss in 2007
The rugby media has tended to focus on the Pumas scrum as having been the decisive factor for Argentina so far in the 2013 Rugby Championship. A lot of praise has been given to the front-row, with Juan Figallo quickly becoming recognized as the best tighthead prop in the tournament and, quite possibly, the world. Figallo was again named by Planet Rugby as the best tighthead prop while he was joiend by Agustín Creevy and Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe to give Argentina three forwards in the weeks Dream Team. One yet to be mentioned who has been playing well is Juan Manuel Leguizamón who has been a Puma since 2005.

In his fiftieth test match appearance Leguizamón did what few players from Argentina or anywhere have done - score tries in consecutive weeks against the top three ranked teams in the world - South Africa, New Zealand and Australia. Not only is it rare but it was not done winger but rather the tryscorer was a forward. Argentina has managed five tries thus far in the tournament with centres Felipe Contepomi and Marcelo Bosch scoring one each against South Africa and Juan Leguizamón scoring the three others. Only one player in the competition has scored more - Ben Smith. The All Black winger scored five in his first two matches, both against Australia. 

With the injury to Patricio Albacete Leguizamón has stepped up in the three matches since Soweto to be a leader. This marks a fundamental change from the Leguiamón of years gone by who has commonly been an important player but not a leader. In the match in Perth on the weekend he was not only utilizing communication skills in a senior capacity but he was leading by example. While the highlights packages of the game show the Lyon back-rower scoring a try after linking with Felipe Contepomi it was the workrate of Leguizamón that was the most notable. He was getting around the field and putting in solid tackles. In two instances of note Leguizamón put in crunching tackles on the Wallaby wingers as both James O´Connor and Nick Cummins were send backwards. 

Tackle on James O´Connor 

Tackle on Nick Cummins

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