Sunday, June 8, 2014

International Rugby: Manuel Montero Scores Superb Try v Ireland

In his eleventh test match appearance for Argentina 22 year old left winger Manuel Montero scored his twelfth test try. With Argentina in need of better attacking wingers to score against elite opposition Montero's performance against Ireland underlines his credentials as an option to start in the Rugby Championship. Having previously also scored against both England and France Montero is likely to be used much more under Daniel Hourcade than was the case under Santiago Phelan. 

In crossing against Ireland Montero retained his record of having scored more tries than the number of test matches he has played. His return against Tier 1 opposition sees him having scored three tries in seven tests, a better return than that of the players utilized as the first choice wingers under Santiago Phelan in the 2012 and 2013 Rugby Championships. Montero's tries have been in June internationals and therefore in test matches in which Argentina has not had access to leading European based players. 

Montero's first half try against Irelad was scored from within Argentina's own half. Fullback Joaquín Tuculet received a high ball from Jonathan Sexton and ran it back to the half way line where he was tackled. From the following ruck Martín Landajo passed to Nicolás Sánchez who stepped through the Irish defence, is a move very similar to that which set up Marcelo Bosch against France in 2012, before passing to Montero 30 metres out from the Irish tryline. 

The 22 year old demonstrated why he offers a much needed attacking weapon for Los Pumas as he stepped off both feet and showed both speed and strength to get passed the tackles of Andrew Trimble and Jonathan Sexton. The 21,000 supporters in Chaco errupted as they saw a special try that gives supporters room to believe Argentina may have a genuinely dangerous weapon to be Argentina's version of George North, Stuart Hogg or Israel Folau.

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