Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Amlin Challenge Cup: Horacio Agulla scores three tries v Brive

Photo Belfast Telegraph
Veteran Pumas winger Horacio Agulla impressed for Bath on Sunday. The Buenos Aires winger ran in three tries in the club´s home Amlin Challenge Cup Quarter Final against French club Brive. The win sees Bath secure a Semi Final against the London Wasps at Adams Park on Sunday April 27. 

The performance from Agulla was arguably his best of the season. He was required to do a lot of work to score two of his three tries as he demonstrated a combination of speed, strength and side-stepping to get passed and around the Brive defenders. Agulla also worked well with his colleagues in all three tries with former Welsh and British and Irish Lions inside centre Gavin Henson putting in a star performance.

The hat-trick against Brive was of note to him personally as Agulla spent two years playing for the same club in the Top 14. It was his second professional club after he had previously played for Dax who was relegated to the Pro d2 in 2009. Agulla moved to Englamd in 2010 to play for the Leicester Tigers for two seasons and arrived at Bath in 2012.

Having held down a starting position in the 14 shirt for Leicester he has been less consistent in making appearances for Bath. His three tries will be sure to see him obtaining greater game time for the remainder of the season and will also send positive messages to Pumas coach Daniel Hourcade. The Tucumán coach used Agulla at outside centre for the final test of 2013 against Italy.

His ball carrying skills at gaining ground in combination with his defence are suited to the position and with Argentina lacking the same fire power outside to score tries the move could well become permament. As a winger for Los Pumas Agulla has not scored a try since 2011. He last scored in a non-international against a CONSUR XV in San Juan and prior to that scored a test try v Uruguay in 2010.

His second try against Brive was reminiscent of one of his three tries in the above mentioned match in San Juan. It was a true wingers try calling upon the ability to deceive the defenders and do so from within his own half. Brive, though, was not taking the match altogether seriously as the side fielded was well below full strength.

Of note in the performance is that despite playing in the 14 shirt all three of Agulla´s tries were scored down the left flank. In other words there is reason to suggest that Hourcade could get more out of Agulla on attack if he were to persist with using him as an inside centre.

Video ESPN Scrum


  1. Scored as many tries in this game as he did in his last 50 games for the Pumas.

    4 from 51 games for Argentina and 17 from 30 games for Bath, was good for Leicester too. The disparity is simply confusing, he's never looked remotely close to scoring tries like he did in this game. Perhaps he's just suited more to the club environment?

    1. Or perhaps a coach like Phelan couldn't the best outta him or any other of the pumas for that matter!


  2. no coach in the planet could have made much of a dent in that Puma squad playing 12 engagements a year in two hemispheres and going against traffic of their respective calendars. That was madness. To be in Pensacola playing with rubber bands around your ankles while the wallabies are playing the lions ? It's like giving an olympic athlete a 40 yard head start in a hundred yard race. Actually, Santiago Phelan did amazingly well considering the ridiculous limitations and asymmetries the Pumas had to contend with. If you are just looking at the numbers to measure el Tati's performance, you don't know anything about international rugby. Or Argentina's unique context.