Argentina v Italy in Verona
Venue: Stadio Marcantonio Bentegodi
Referee: Chris Pollock (New Zealand)
These two teams have so much in common. Firstly that grand Latin temperament which could mean anything could happen on the rugby paddock and, especially for Argentina, it usually does. Secondly they are placed fairly close together in the ranking tables. They are both striving to match the top sides in international rugby. Thirdly, they play a similar game. Very forward orientated. That is the strength of both teams.
Argentina is the team the world is watching. They have been accepted into the Tri Nations fold in 2012. This is a major step for the South Americans. To play constantly against the best in the world has been their aim for over a decade since they went professional. They defeated a very flat French side in June but did it with such control and devastation. The rugby world really sat up after that. It followed Argentina's third placing at the 2007 Rugby World Cup finals. Their aim is to reach the final in 2012.
Italy has struggled to compete effectively against the major European nations in the 6 Nations International Championship. Their win against Scotland last March was their first in two years in the competition. Their heavy loss to France in March will be noted by the Argentineans. They have relied on a massive and most effective forward pack. It's probably one of the best in the world. Sadly, that's were it ends. To compete Italy must play 80 minutes of robust and expansive rugby. Their style of play is quickly becoming outdated.
Last Five Encounters
15.11.2008 Argentina 22-14 in Turin
28.06.2008 Italy 13-12 in Cordoba
09.06.2007 Argentina 24-6 in Mendoza
18.11.2006 Argentina 23-16 in Rome
19.11.2005 Argentina 39-22 in Genoa
GWC Rugby Rankings
World Table-Argentina 4th, Italy 10th
Argentina 79.70 (8th), Italy 72.97 (12th)
Prediction: Argentina to continue the advances made against France in June, and win by 21 points
15 Luke McLean, 14 Tommaso Benvenuti , 13 Gonzalo Canale, 12 Andrea Masi, 11 Mirco Bergamasco, 10 Craig Gower, 9 Tito Tebaldi, 8 Sergio Parisse, Capt. 7 Robert Barbieri, 6 Alessandro Zanni, 5 Quintin Geldenhuys, 4 Carlo Antonio Del Fava, 3 Martin Castrogiovanni, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1 Salvatore Perugini.
16 Fabio Ongaro, 17 Andrea Lo Cicero, 18 Santiago Dellape', 19 Paul Derbyshire, 20 Pablo Canavosio, 21 Luciano Orquera, 22 Alberto Sgarbi.
Head Coach: Nik Mallett
15 Martin Rodriguez, 14 Gonzalo Camacho, 13 Gonzalo Tiesi, 12 Santiago Fernandez, 11 Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino, 10 Felipe Contepomi,Capt. 9 Nicolas Vergallo; 8 Juan Fernandez Lobbe, 7 Miguel De Achaval, 6 Genaro Fessia, 5 Mariano Galarza, 4 Manuel Carizza, 3 Martin Scelzo, 2 Mario Ledesma, 1 Rodrigo Roncero.
16 Agustín Creevy, 17 Marcos Ayerza, 18 Juan Figallo, 19 Esteban Lozada, 20 Álvaro Galindo, 21 Alfredo Lalanne, 22 Horacio Agulla.
Head Coach: Santiago Phelan