Friday, October 18, 2013

Retro Friday - Corcho Fernández Lobbe scores against France in 2010

Fernández Lobbe in 2010

Arguably the greatest win of the Phelan era took place in June 2010 when Argentina recovered from losing a home series against Scotland two-nil to defeat France by a record margin in Buenos Aires. The main destroyer was captain Felipe Contepomi who scored two tries in a personal total of 31 points but the try of the match was scored by Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe. 

The 41-13 victory was followed by a hard fought win over Italy in Verona in November. The year had otherwise been less than impressive but the home win over France showed great character after Argentina had been out-played by the Andy Robinson coached Scottish side who turned around history to become the first Scottish team to win a test in Argentina and also the first Scottish side to win a test series in a Rugby Championship playing nation. 

Having lost the match Phelan made some changes to the side with there being a recall for scrumhalf Nicolás Vergallo while both Horacio Agulla and Juan Manuel Leguizamón were dropped. Replacing them were Rafael Carballo and Genaro Fessia. The test against France was also notable for it being the debut of Juan Figallo who was a replacement. 

Carballo joined Martín Rodríguez Gurruchaga and Lucas González Amorosino in the back-three for the contest. It was a combination lacking experience but the trio brought much needed life to Los Pumas and all three players were involved in tries. Carballo scored one, while González Amorosino broke the line in the lead-up to Contepomi scoring and Rodríguez Gurruchaga combined with Corcho Fernández Lobbe with the latter scoring in the corner. 

The try came from Fernández Lobbe benig used as the second fullback. After recieving a clearing kick the back-rower advanced into the opposition half and after attracting defenders put Rodríguez Gurruchaga into a gap and continued running in support of the Stade Français fullback. Corcho was then in the right place at the right time to call for the pass and finish off the job to the delight of his home town supporters at Velez Sarsfeld Stadium. 

Fernández Lobbe replaced Contepomi as captain in 2012 but had been the captain previously with him leading the side as early as 2008. With Contepomi injured for the match against Ireland in Dublin Corcho Fernández Lobbe was named captain and he would lead the side throughout 2009 due to Contepomi injurying his knee in the Heineken Cup final in which his side, Leinster defeated Munster to advance to the final. 

2009 also saw Fernández Lobbe give up the captaincy of the Sale Sharks in the Aviva Premiership to move to France and continue his career with Toulon. The move proved to be screwed as Fernández Lobbe won the 2013 Heineken Cup and has also appeared in two Top 14 finals. During the same period the Sale Sharks have been struggling to find previous form as the player roster is a shadow of what it once was as there is no longer a notable list of capped players contracted to the club.

Fernández Lobbe will be in action this weekend for Toulon who face Welsh region the Cardiff Blues in Wales on Saturday. He also played last weekend in the team´s big home win over Scottish side the Glasgow Warriors. 

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