Friday, February 21, 2014

Retro Friday - Rodrigo Roncero Scores against Italy in San Juan

Photo Briga Deportiva
Rorro Roncero scored an impressive solo try for Argentina in 2012. With the match having been an even contest the front-rower scored a try far more reminiscent of an outside centre as he contributed to a home victory for Los Pumas in western Argentina.

Argentina´s first test match after Rugby World Cup 2011 was a home match against Italy in San Juan. It took place during the mandatory IRB release window but Argentina was unable to field a genuine test side due to participation in the Rugby Championship requiring that European based professionals miss out on representing Argentina in June.

The result was a weakened side took on the Italians but there were some instances of top players taking to the field. One was Roncero whom had just completed his professional career. Roncero had returned to Argentina from France. He had played for Stade Français for eight years and prior to that played for Gloucester in the Aviva Premiership from 2002-2004. 

The loosehead prop was set to hang up his boots after facing Italy and France in June 2012 but after impressing in June he was persuaded to continue playing until the completion of the inaugural Rugby Championship. This helped Argentina be very combative in the front-row and with Marcos Ayerza as a replacement Argentina had two of the great loosehead props of the professional age. 

Roncero retired after the Rugby Championship aged 35. He had impressed to be regarded by many as the best loosehead prop in the tournament. His 55th and final test appearance came against Australia in Rosario in October 2012. It was an unhappy end to a career which dated back to 1998. He did, however, go out on a high in knowing that the complications he had experienced first hand as a Puma were becoming a thing of the past as Argentina was, at long last, playing in a tournament that it deserved to.

Roncero scored a try against New Zealand in  Argentina´s away match in Wellington which was his sixth as a Puma. His first was against Chile in 2002 while he scored a double against Fiji in 2003 and scored against Namibia at Rugby World Cup 2007. His besty try, though, arguably came against Italy in San Juan in June 2012 as he linked with Felipe Contepomi to score a dream try for a prop forward as he was given space and was too good for the Italian defenders. 

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