Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Pacific Challenge: Pampas XV defeat Canada 'A' to Qualify for Final

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With a six tries to two victory this morning in Suva, Fiji the Pampas XV have secured a place in the final of the World Rugby Pacific Challenge. Santiago Cordero, Tomás Cubelli, Facundo Isa and Pablo Matera all crossed for a try each while Emiliano Boffelli scored two. The Raúl Pérez and Martín Gaitán coached Argentine side defeated Canada 'A' 36-15 in a third round match to remain undefeated and confirm a place in the championship final to be played next Monday, March 23. The Pampas XV won the 2014 Pacific Cup played in Australia and the 2011 Vodacom Cup played in South Africa. The team provides the basis for Argentina's Super Rugby franchise set to debut in the competition in 2016.

Early signs at ANZ Stadium in Suva were not strong for the Pampas XV as Canadian fullback Harry Jones crossed for the opening score after just five minutes. Trailing 7-0 the Pampas XV hit back firstly with Santiago Cordero crossing for a try from fullback and then left winger Emiliano Boffelli scoring two. With Santiago González Iglesias converting just one of the three tries the Pampas XV held a 17-10 half time advantage. 

Second half tries to Facundo Isa, Tomás Cubelli and Pablo Matera were complimented by two conversions from Javier Rojas. The Canadians scored one with winger Conor Trainor touching down in the 70th minute. The Pampas XV, though, were in control and they now march on to the final where they will face an opponent from Oceania. 

The tournament decider will be played on Monday with a 2:00am kick-off Argentine time. The opponent will be either Samoa 'A' or the Fiji Warriors. The Pampas XV defeated the Fijian side in the opening round. 

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