Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Rugby Championship: Attacking Pumas side to face Australia

In search of defeating Australia Los Pumas Headcoach Daniel Hourcade has gone on the offensive. The coach from Tucumán has made three changed from the team that faced the All Blacks this  past Saturday including selecting two different wingers. Gone from the team are Horacio Agulla and Lucas González Amorosino, the latter of two is to be on the bench. Also missing is second-rower Tomás Lavanini who was suspended by SANZAR for one match for foul play against All Black captain Richie McCaw. Despite his non-availability no specialist replacement has been called up by Hourcade. Instead the bench is to feature two back-rowers.   

With Argentina having run South Africa very close in Salta in the second round of the Rugby Championship the path to victory has been set. Argentina can win by playing an expansive brand of rugby and have a better chance of doing so when being greeted by dry conditions. Many were caught off-guard by Argentina's willingness to spin the ball in Salta and also by the back-rowers abilities to secure the ball. 

Such is the revolutionary approach of Hourcade that Argentina is less interested in playing a tight 10-man brand of rugby. The game plan is built on a solid set-piece in which Argentina can win its own ball and seriously challenge the opposition both in the scrum and lineout. Having dominated the Springbok scrum Argentina is now set to face the weakest scrum in the competition and look to create opportun ities for play makers Nicolás Sánchez and Juan Martín Hernández. 

The Sánchez-Hernández combination has been retained for the Gold Coast test and Hourcade has decided against a replacement fly half. The team will, nonetheless, have a natural fly half at outside centre with Marcelo Bosch having been a fly half before being moved to the mid-field by Biarritz in 2011. Providing back-up in the mid-field from the bench will be Jerónimo De la Fuente. 

Starting in the back-three are to be Manuel Montero, Juan Imhoff and Joaquín Tuculet. The attacking trio have been selected in an effort to have a greater chance at scoring tries and thus winning the match. Imhoff's selection is the only change in the backs from Salta. He missed the fixture due to injury with Lucas González Amorosino starting instead. He is to be Argentina's replacement outside back this weekend. 

Retaining his place ahead of Tomás Cubelli is Martín Landajo at scrum-half. He is to play behind a back-row of Leonardo Senatore, Juan Manuel Leguizamón and Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe. Rodrigo Báez is to act as the replacement back-rower with the fit-again Benjamín Macome having been selected as a utility option covering both the back-row and second-row. It offers Argentina greater power from the bench, something found lacking in Salta. 

Macome's selection comes after SANZAR had deemed that Tomás Lavanini's ruck clearance on Richie McCaw was a red card. He cannot therefore play any part against the Wallabies this Saturday. Taking his place is Matías Alemanno who joins Mariano Galarza in the starting second-row. In the front-row, meanwhile, Agustín Creevy will again captain the side with Marcos Ayerza and Ramiro Herrera retained. Matías Cortese and Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro have been retained as replacements while Bruno Postiglioni replaces Lucas Noguera Paz as the reserve loosehead prop.

The South Americans are to play the match in their alternative dark blue strip. 

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