Saturday, May 17, 2014

CONSUR: Argentina defeat Uruguay in Paysandú

Photo UAR
Montero scored four tries v Uruguay
The international season is officially underway for Argentina as the top ranked South American rugby team, Los Pumas, faced Uruguay in an away fixture in Paysandú earlier today. Argentina played well to defeat Uruguay 65-9 by ten tries to zero to win the CONSUR Cup with a match in hand. Argentina will now travel to Santiago del Chile to face Los Condores next weekend in another official test match. Uruguay will next play against the runner-up from the Asian Five Nations in what is to be the first phase of repercharge qualifying for Rugby World Cup 2015.

Prior to naming his squad for the matches against Uruguay and Chile Daniel Hourcade made it clear that, unlike Santiago Phelan in 2012 and 2013, he was using the games as official test matches by giving players game time that had realistic chances of also appearing in the June internationals. 

With Argentina set to be put to the test by both Ireland and Scotland Hourcade ordered his players to play to the best of their ability which saw Uruguay up against sturner opposition than was the case in March when Los Teros faced the USA home and away in Rugby World Cup 2015 qualification matches. Argentina showed no mercy in running in twn tries to zero as a number of players gave Hourcade reason to include them in his team for June.

No player impressed more than replacement Manuel Montero who scored four tries. The replacement left winger spent time playing not only on the wing but also in the mid-field and utilized a variety of skills to cross for his tries. Of the four his third was arguably the most impressive. In what was a 100 metre try Montero broke clear from inside his own 22 and demonstrated too much size and speed for the defenders. What he added provideed backing to the concept of him playing at outside centre for the senior team. 

Of Argentina's six remaining tries four were scored by backs. The first by a forward was that of Lucas Noguera Paz who crossed in the 25th minute for the second try of the match. The first had come from winger Tomás Carrío who scored in just the second minute while Uruguay then demonstrated organization as the only points scored for the following quarter were penalties.  

Two late first half tries to captain Tomás Cubelli and second-rower Matías Alemanno saw Argentina leading 25-6 at the interval and after a scoreless opening ten minutes of the second half Los Teros centre Joaquín Prada made it a 25-9 game with his third penalty. Montero crossed in the 58th minute for his first try followed quickly by a try from Gabriel Ascárate who played well in his first high level match since injuring his neck while playing for the Glasgow Warriors earlier this season in the Rabo Direct Pro 12.

Argentina was in need of a good performance from Ascárate due to his potential selection together with Nicolás Sánchez to form a 10-12 combination. None of Juan Martín Hernández, Santiago Fernández or Marcelo Bosch will play test rugby next month and, as such, Hourcade's leading option for inside centre may well be Ascárate. Matías Orlando is an option for outside centre or wing and playing right wing the Tucumán back crossed for a 74th minute try.

The tests against Uruguay and Chile are further strong support for the argument that Rugby World Cup 2023 ought to take place in Argentina. No other Tier One rugby playing country in the world plays its neighboring Tier Two or Tier Three countries in away test matches. In fact neither Australia nor New Zealand have ever played tests in Fiji, Samoa or Tonga. Romania has gone more than two Rugby World Cups between hosting a Six Nations team while Georgia has never hosted one. Moreover although Namibia has played in the past four Rugby World Cups it has never hosted South Africa. 

Uruguay is to now turn its attention to Asia. Los Teros are to host the number two Asian side, likely to be Hong Kong, in a repercharge match with the winning country advancing to face the winner of Europe 3 v Africa 2. Germany will host Russia to determine who it Europe 3 while the runner-up of the upcoming African Cup Divison 1A featuring Kenya, Madagascar, Namibia and Zimbabwe will be Africa 2. 

1 Lucas Noguera Paz, 2 Matías Cortese, 3 Bruno Postiglioni, 4 Lucas Ponce, 5 Matías Alemanno, 6 Javier Ortega Desio 7 Rodrigo Báez 8 Antonio Ahualli de Chazal 9 Tomás Cubelli, 10 Santiago González Iglesias, 11 Tomás Carrió, 12 Gabriel Ascárate, 13 Jerónimo De la Fuente, 14 Matías Orlando, 15 Santiago Cordero.

Tries: Carrió, Noguera Paz, Cubelli, Alemanno, Montero (4), Ascárate, Orlando.
Conversions: González Iglesias (7)
Penalty: González Iglesias

1 Rodolfo De Mula, 2 Arturo Avalo, 3 Óscar Durán, 4 Mathias Palomeque, 5 Cristofer Soares de Lima, 6 Juan Gaminara, 7 Diego Magno, 8 Alejandro Nieto, 9 Guillermo Lijtenstein, 10 Rodrigo Silva, 11 Santiago Gibernau, 12 Juan De Freitas, 13 Joaquín Prada, 14 Leandro Leivas, 15 Gastón Mieres

Penalties: Prada (3)

1 comment:

  1. Any chance of full player ratings? How long did Montero play at 13. Any highlights we can watch?