Saturday, February 15, 2014

Federico Todeschini rated 2nd best international goal kicker between 2002-2011

Argentina fly-half Federico Todeschini
A statistical study, done over the period between 2002-2011 by New Zealand rugby analyst Ken Quarrie, rates Pumas fly half Federico Todeschini to be second best goal kicker over that period of international rugby, second only to South Africa's Morne Steyn. The list rates Todeschini ahead of players such as Dan Carter (#3), Chris Paterson (#5), Jonny Wilkinson (#7) and Percy Montgomery (#16).

Despite his goal kicking prowess, Todeschini won relatively few caps for Argentina only 21 and came to prominence late aged 29 when as part of a weakened Pumas team, he produced a 100% flawless display of goal kicking scoring 20 points in the 25-25 draw with the British & Irish Lions. He then scored 30 points the following week in a win over Italy through 2005 to 2006 he was a regular starter at fly half.

Despite some limitations outside kicking, he could be defensively being fragile and didn't have the overall skillset of Hernandez or Contepomi, he had some very memorable moments in the blue and white hoops. It was his opportunist intercept that proved a match winner during Argentina's famous win at Twickenham in November 2006, and the result of his masterful goal kicking whilst playing with the Pumas at their peak saw him accumulate very large point tallies. He scored 22 of the 25 points that beat England, and 30 against Wales earlier in June 2006. However despite that, his international career petered out in 2007 when Juan Martin Hernandez moved to fly half where he was one of the stars of the World Cup.

One thing was always notable about Todeschini is that he was extraordinarily relaxed technique. There didn't seem to be any strict stride length, ritual with his arms or anything, he just trotted up and struck it almost more soccer style.

Other notable Argentines on the list are Gonzalo Quesada at #26 although the stats miss a fair chunk of his career when he won the 1999 World Cup golden boot, and Felipe Contepomi at #99 rated as one of the worst kickers, although his rating rose considerably when it came to success in kicks with most importance attached.

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