Sunday, August 17, 2014

Rugby Championship: New Pumas Front-row challenges South Africa

Photo UAR
New captain Agustín Creevy contributed to a
solid scrum and acted well in both the set piece
and around the field.
A lot of questions have been raised in regards of the ability of Argentina to provide a reputable front-row combination following the loss of the first and second choice tighthead props and also a new hooker. With Juan Figallo and Maximilano Bustos having suffered serious injueries Daniel Hourcade opted to groom the previously uncapped Ramiro Herrera and also replace aging hooker Eusebio Guiñazú with Agustín Creevy who covnerted from back-row to hooker in 2009. Together with Leicester veteran Marcos Ayerza the new front-row combination demonstrated the technique of the bajada to send back the heavier South African pack throughout the opening round fixture of the 2014 Rugby Championship. In the first scrum of the game the scrum saw Argentina awarded a penalty. 


  1. i am glad to see that the pumas are using "la bajada" tecnique once again. Hurcade is a great coach and I am expecting to see a much competitive Puma team this season.

  2. Very encouraging performance by Argentina. To tell the truth, I'm pretty disappointed they didn't get the win (they are now something like 5 wins in 28 games, which must be so frustrating for the players, given all the effort they put in), but that performance was so much better than anything we've seen from the Pumas away to South Africa in recent years (2008, lost 9-63; 2012, lost 6-27; 2013 less said the better, lol etc.). I just hope they can correct some of the errors in their game and FINALLY get their maiden championship win in Salta. If they lose yet again (which I hope they won't but sadly they probably will), it certainly won't be through lack of trying or through lack of the players (and fans) longing for them to get that extremely elusive victory...

    A few questions, Paul...

    1) I see that there have been some more injuries after the game in Pretoria (it's not as if the Pumas didn't have enough to contend with anyway, lol)...Does this mean they'll miss the game in Salta? The injuries are in the form of Nicolas Sanchez (left calf contracture), Martin Landajo (left leg hamstring contracture) and Juan Martin Hernandez (left leg abductor contracture)... Hahaha, my translation from the Spanish is shocking, so here's a link to the original article...

    2) How are the ticket sales going for Salta? Is a sell out possible? I'm glad Salta's getting such a high profile game. I visited there in 2010... A beautiful city, friendly people, delicious food... a lovely part of world (and an ideal potential rugby world cup venue, that's for sure).

    3) Another point (slightly off-topic): Did you see that Buenos Aires won the World Club Sevens? That would appear to be a very good result for Argentine rugby... Although how much can we really read into the result? It doesn't seem to be getting much attention in the press...


    Chris (Kiwi living in Bogota, Colombia)

  3. No official announcement has come out yet regarding the injuries but all three players are expected to be fit to start, if selected, in Salta. Should Sánchez miss out then Patricio Fernández will be on the bench and Santiago González Iglesias playing 10. Santi Fernández has been named repeatedly in some sources as being on stand-by too.

    The end-on tickets at Salta were sold out in the opening days. It is very likely to be full and, yes, is a great city for a RWC 2023 bid. Lots of history, atractions and a notable rugby community.

    URBA title added. Gracias. Sunday is family day for me. The win shows that the URBA side has players as good as the wider squads of those competing.

  4. Thanks for your reply Paul and I hope you've had a nice restful Sunday.

    Hopefully all three injured players will be back for Saturday, although the replacements are all good players too (although perhaps lacking in test match experience)... The Pampas XV/ PLADAR projects seem to have been very good for bringing young players through, and there appears to be a promising player base forming for the Super Rugby franchise (should it go ahead)...

    Glad to hear the ground in Salta will be most likely full.

    Buenos Aires certainly did well... As you say, they certainly matched their opponents and more. By all accounts, beating Auckland in the final has to rate as a good achievement...