Friday, March 6, 2015

Super Rugby: Pampas XV defeat Blues 'A' in Auckland

Photo UAR
In the second of two World Rugby Challenge warm-up fixtures in Oceania the Pampas XV recorded an important victory. The Argentine side defeated the 'A' team of the Auckland based Blues Super Rugby franchise at Pukuranga Rugby Club in Auckland today. In a well-fought contest the South Americans came out on top by scoring three tries to two to overcome a 16-12 half time deficit and win the contest 19-16 by keping the New Zealanders scoreless in the second half. Lisandro Ahualli de Chazal, Ramiro Moyano and Santiago Cordero (pictured to the right) crossed for tries for the South Americans while Santiago González Iglesias converted two tries in scoring four points. 

As was the case in Sydney against the Waratahs 'A' sied Gen Blue last Friday the Pampas XV proved to be a competitive team against a team made up of Super Rugby squad and academy members. The 19-16 victory confirms the Pampas XV a favorites for the World Rugby Pacific Challenge to be played this month in Fiji. 

The Argentine side was forced to dig deep to win the contest in Auckland. The Blues 'A' side featuring Super Rugby stars such as Tevita Li and Cullum Retallick started wel and took an early lead with a second minute penalty. Argentina hit back shortly to score the opening try of the match in the 9th minute with Lisandro Ahualli de Chazal crossing from a maul. 

Ahualli de Chazal was a late replacement for Facundo Isa who dropped to the bench. The Tucumán back-rower took his opportunity well to press for further selection as did other players. The Pampas XVC team, though, needed to not get ahead of themselves as Li crossed for the home side to reclaim the lead midway through the first half.

The blow-for-blow theme of the first half continued with wingers Ramiro Moyano and Matt Vaaega both crossing. Neither team scored any points in the third quarter of the match which saw Santiago Cordero's 62nd minute try being the only points scored after the interval. With the conversion from Santiago González Iglesias the Pampas XV went three points clear and held on to complete an important win. 

The Pampas XV will begin the World Rugby Challenge on Tuesday March 10 against the home side Fiji 'A'. 

1 comment:

  1. I went to the game last night (Thankfully for once the rain stayed away from a Argentinian team's game in NZ even though it was forecast!) . The Pampas were superior in most facets of play and definitely had the upper hand at both scrum and lineout time where they got both tightheads and a number of wins against the throw. they had a number of chances and really should've won the game more comfortably but were their own worst enemies in bombing 4-5 tries with poor final execution or decision-making after making big busts through the Blues team's defense. Even Montero was denied a try at the end by a forward pass when the Pampas had numbers over and he just needed to catch and dot the ball down. The coaches must have been a little frustrated that so many chances went begging. The second half was pretty poor from both teams as they struggled to keep posession and and therefore create pressure with a litany of dropped balls, poor passes, and breakdown turnovers. The Blues stayed in the match getting a number of these in the 2nd half while the Pampas were able to put the pressure on at set pieces which in turn hampered the Blues efforts. The Pampas were aided by a very poor goal-kicking effort from the Blues as well including a pretty straightforward shot that would've tied the game with a few minutes to go. Montero was probably the most dangerous attacker on the park making several busts through the Blues line but had trouble linking with his support afterwards. The Pampas showed good line speed and in the last quarter particularly made it very difficult for the Blues to get over the gainline and get any momentum as they looked to attack from their own 22 and get the victory. Apart from a lack of precision when finishing of attacks, the Pampas did get their wide defense found out a couple of times including for Vaenga's try when the Blues player was able to get round their marker on the outside. They also gave away a number of ruck and offside penalties in the 2nd half so discipline became an issue, as it gave the Blues more territory and possession coming into the final part of the game than they should've had. It could've had an impact on the game result but as Ive said the Blues set piece wasn't up to taking an advantage. The try by Romano was very nicely taken.