Argentine side the Pampas XV kicked-off its Pacific Challenge campaign with a hard-fought 22-20 victory over Fiji 'A' earlier this morning. With Javier Ortega Desio scoring a try and Manuel Montero crossing for a double the Tomás Cubelli captained team were ale to overcome a 13-7 half time deficit. The South Americans were in control throughout the second half before conceding their only second alf points through a 79th minute try. The Pampas XV will play again on Friday (Argentine time) against Tonga 'A'. The Fijians will face Junior Japan.
An opening victory but one not without complications for Argentine side the Pampas XV. The Raúl Pérez and Martín Gaitán coached side found themselves 7-0 down early on following a try scored by Ameniasi Nava which Kini Douglas converted just before the completion of the opening quarter. It came despite the Pampas XV players having left their mark on the match early to control the set-piece.
Thirty minutes in the Pampas XV leveled the scores as noteworthy play involving wingers Santiago Cordero and Manuel Montero put over the latter for a try which Santiago González Iglesias converted. The Fijians responded with Donaldson kicking two penalties to give the home side a six point advantage at the interval.
The Pampas XV came out the better side to make it a 13-10 match with a González Iglesias penalty in the 42nd minute before Montero crossed for his second try fifteen minutes later while González Iglesias also converted. Fiji 'A' was not doing itself any favors as a lack of discipline resulted in the team being down to thirteen men.
Back-rower Javier Ortega Desio sealed the result with a 68th minute unconverted try which had the South Americans nine points clear. A late try both completed and converted by Donaldson ended the scoring and with it the Pampas XV won by two points.
Pérez and Gaitán are likely to make changes for the match against Tonga 'A' three days from now. With Argentina v Tonga being a pool match in Rugby World Cup 2015 the fixture is of immense importance to both countries. Tonga 'A' opened its campaign with a 30-28 loss against Samoa 'A'.