Morgan Piek – The Argentine Rugby community is a buzz with excitement in anticipation to making their bow in the Southern Hemispheres premier International Rugby competition. Speaking to sources in Argentina these sentiments have been confirmed numerous times.
Although The Rugby Championship is not really a new competition in many regards, the main difference is the inclusion of our Western neighbours from South America. To them it’s very special, as it should he for us as the Argentines actually learnt their rugby from South Africa. The Pumas and World rugby legend Hugo Porto has been very instrumental in the development of the sport in the South American nation. Porto of course has had very strong ties with South Africa Rugby over the decades.
Being the new kids on the block, the Pumas will without a doubt find the going tough, but they are by no means to be underestimated. They have played in an IRB Rugby World Cup semi final after all. Only succumbing to the Springboks in semi final as the Boks went on to win the Webb-Ellis Trophy in 2007.
The Pumas do not play the most attractive rugby; however, it’s very effective rugby where they are able to take on the World best in the forwards department. They do have an exciting backline that can strike anywhere anytime. They are especially dangerous when they get good ball from their world renowned scrum.
Speaking to my friend Chris Gomez Csher in Argentina, he confirmed my exact sentiments, that the Pumas could cause a few upsets on their home soil. The Springboks will be facing them this coming weekend at DHL Newlands in Cape Town before making the Trans-Atlantic voyage to Estadio Malvinas Argentinas, Mendoza. From what I’ve heard, it’s not an easy park to play on and has the same reputation as GWK Park in Kimberley.
The Pumas have selected a very strong side for their first game in the Rugby Championship in Cape Town and will without a doubt is looking to impress on Saturday, which could make them a very formidable foe.
Having selected five forwards on the bench is a clear indication that the Argentines will be looking to dominated the game upfront and attempt give the Boks their own medicine back. I will go as far as to say the Springboks will take this game, but it will be one hell of a tough battle and our squad’s depth will be tested in the upcoming weeks. Nevertheless it promises to be a very exciting day of Rugby in Cape Town.
The Pumas side to face the Springboks is as follows:
1. Rodrigo Roncero, 2. Eusebio Guiñazú (former Stormers), 3. Juan Figallo, 4. Manuel Carizza, 5. Patricio Albacete, 6. Julio Farías Cabello, 7. Álvaro Galindo, 8. Juan Fernández Lobbe (Captain), 9. Nicolás Vergallo, 10. Juan Martín Hernández (former Sharks), 11. Horacio Agulla, 12. Santiago Fernández, 13. Marcelo Bosch, 14. Gonzalo Camacho, 15. Lucas González Amorosino.
Reserves: (5 forwards, 2 backs): 16. Bruno Postiglioni, 17. Marcos Ayerza, 18. Juan Pablo Orlandi, 19. Tomás Leonardi, 20. Leonardo Senatore, 21. Martín Landajo y 22. Martín Rodriguez.