|Five Pumas represented the Barbarians on Saturday in London.|
A Barbarians team featuring a host of All Blacks, Pumas and Springboks took on Fiji on Saturday in a match to commemorate 100 years of Fijian rugby. The fixture was a non-international but one that was of great interest to global rugby followers.
Starting for the Barbarians were the likes of Steven Luatua, Charles Piutau, Pat Lambie, Schalk Burger, Bismarck du Plessis, Jean de Villiers and Duane Vermeulen. Three Pumas started alongisde them with Matíaz Díaz being given a once in a lifetime opportunity of forming a front-row with du Plessis and Tendai Mtawarira. Díaz came out of the match strong but was unable to score a try after having his right arm in touch upon grounding the ball.
Manuel Carizza will be a name far more known to South Africans in 2014 due to him playing for Cape Town Super Rugby side the Stormers. Carizza played in the second-row with All Black Dominic Bird while 19 year old Santiago Cordero started at fullback ahead of Willie le Roux. Cordero showed his qualities before being replaced by the Springbok fullback.
Two other Pumas played in the match as replacements. Martín Landajo entered the match at scrumhalf in the second half while Guillermo Roan did so at loosehead prop. Like the three starting players the two replacements are likely to be playing for Argentina in the June internationals which will see Argentina hosting Ireland and Scotland.
In London on Saturday the type of rugby on display was far from being protective as both teams took their chances and played a highly entertaining match. Kicks were rare as teams were content to run the ball from the deep and even do so from within ones own in-goal area. In the end it was a game featuring ten tries with the Barbarians scoring seven of them in winning the contest 43-19.
Unfortunately the organizers committed a grave error by having both teams play in white and black uniforms. The result was it was very difficult to distinguish who was on which team and it resulted in a number of off-loads bveing present to the opposition team. In the future it is mandatory that such a match see Fiji playing in its alternative playing strip which is light blue.
With England v Fiji set to be the match that opens Rugby World Cup 2015 the organizers will need Fiji to be playing in light blue or ask England to play in its alternative strip. Starting the Rugby World Cup in an alternative strip is not going to be popular with supporters.