Monday, March 17, 2014

Pacific Cup: Pampas XV team named to face Tonga

Photo by Ben Appleton -

Pampas XV coaches Martín Gaitán and Raúl Pérez have named a side featuring eleven changes to play Tonga A on Wednesday. Only four players that started against Samoa A in the round three win will also start against the Tongans but the team named to face Tonga is arguably stronger overall. Should the Argentine side it it would retain control over the standings and remain undefeated.

Matías Cortese and Bruno Postiglioni are to join Lucas Noguera Paz in starting the match in the front-row. The selection illustrates an approach to combat what is expacted to be a very physical Tongan scrum. They are to be joined in the front-five by Tomás Lavanini and Matías Alemanno - two players with potential to be regulars in Los Pumas. 

Completing the pack will be a loose forward trio of Facundo Isa, Rodrigo Báez and Tomás de La Vega. Of the players who were used to start tests in the back-row in the 2013 Rugby Championship the majority were veterans. Pablo Matera, at twenty years of age, was the exception. In other words the three starting are all playing for places in Argentina´s team to face Ireland and Scotland in June. 

The rotation policy continues again in regards to the halves. Gaitán and Pérez have opted to field a combination of Tomás Cubelli and 19 year old Patricio Fernández. They are to be joined in the backs by a centre combination of Jerónimo de La Fuente and the recalled Matías Moroni. Also returning are Manuel Montero and Román Miralles who are to start on the left wing and fullback respectively while Matías Orlando will again be used on the right wing.  

The match will kick-off at 2am Argentine time on Wednesday. 

Pampas XV
1 Lucas Noguera Paz
2 Matías Cortese
3 Bruno Postiglioni
4 Matías Alemanno
5 Tomás Lavanini
6 Rodrigo Báez
7 Tomás De la Vega
8 Facundo Isa
9 Tomás Cubelli (Captain)
10 Patricio Fernández
11 Manuel Montero
12 Jerónimo De la Fuente
13 Matías Moroni
14 Matías Orlando
15 Román Miralles
Reserves: 16 Santiago Iglesias Valdez, 17 Julián Montoya, 18 Ramiro Herrera, 19 Guido Petti Pagadizabal, 20 Javier Ortega Desio, 21 Martín Landajo, 22 Santiago González Iglesias, 23 Javier Rojas


  1. I've been impressed with the Pampas XV and their unbeaten run in the tournament so far (I know they lost to the Western Force in a warm up game in preparation for the tournament, but from what I've read in the Argentine media they gave a pretty good account of themselves in that match too). I believe Tonga XV have won their last two matches (against a Brumbies XV and a Waratahs XV), so this game could be close... I'd love the Pampas XV to win the whole tournament (I imagine they'd be playing Reds in the final should they succeed in beating Tonga on Wednesday)... From what I understand, although the ARU representatives in SANZAR (such as the ARU chairman Bob Pulver) want Argentina in Super Rugby, various members of the wider ARU board are reluctant to approve their inclusion (with some even questioning their competitiveness). If the Pampas XV win this tournament, WITHOUT their European Pumas, the Argentine Super bid might get some seriously overdue respect... either way, well done to the Pampas XV for their good performance... they've done well on the field and played some expansive rugby... hopefully the boardroom blazers will follow suit with this "outside the box" mentality, approve Argentina in Super Rugby and do what's right for the game...

  2. I've only seen the highlights from espn, but I must say that they have looked good especially in attack.

    They lost to the force, however they had just stepped off the plane. This is probably the toughest match they will face. Both teams will meet in the same group at RWC 2015.
    I think this match is going to be very intense with needles, warts and all!

    No matter what the result, nobody can deny Los pampas XV their right to play super rugby...I hope!