Saturday, September 14, 2013

ARGENTINA v AUSTRALIA: Rugby Championship


Venue: Patersons Stadium

Referee: Nigel Paterson (Wales)

Every so often the destiny of a rugby nation may well rest with it’s next rugby test match. For Australia, more so than Argentina, today’s test match in Perth may well be a case in point.

Australia has failed to win a test match under its new coach Ewan MacKenzie. With the demise of Robbie Deans came with it a wave, almost a surge, of optimism. Surely Australia’s fortunes must turn. They haven’t. Australian rugby, and MacKenzie face the daunting task of fighting for survival in world rugby and the Rugby Championship in particular. Another loss and Australian rugby will plummet depths not seen since the mid seventies.

Argentina also need a win. They are beginning to match it with the big boys of test rugby but are yet to record a win in this competition. The last two tests has seen a vast improvement (Graham Henry’s presence in the coaching room no coincidence) and a feeling that Argentina is ‘almost there’. Whilst not yet at any crossroad another loss may dampen the rugby euphoria being experienced in the South American nation.

During the week I wrote ‘Argentina and Australia will be battling for the Wooden Spoon. Neither are yet to win and both have problems leading into this game. Argentina showed they can perform away from home by pushing the All Blacks last weekend in Hamilton. But they have been on the road for two weeks and the travel will take its toll.

Australia have injury and form problems. Captain James Horwell is still unavailable and Will Genia, who replaced Horwell as captain has been placed on the bench. Coach MacKenzie has made five changes to the side that lost heavily to South Africa last weekend. Whoever loses this match will have an uphill battle to stay away from the bottom of the table.’

Last Five Encounters
06.10.2012 Australia 26-19 in Rosario (Rugby Championship)
15.09.2012 Australia 23-19 in Gold Coast (Rugby Championship)
10.10.2003 Australia 25-8 in Sydney (World Cup, Pool A)
02.11.2002 Australia 17-6 in Buenos Aires
24.06.2000 Australia 32-25 in Canberra

Argentina last defeated Australia in 1997, winning 18-16 in Buenos Aires

Australia Last Five P 5, W 1, L 4
07.09.2013 v South Africa L 12-38 in Brisbane (Rugby Championship)24.08.2013 v New Zealand L 16-27 in Wellington (Rugby Champ.Bled. Cup)
17.08.2013 v New Zealand L 29-47 in Sydney (Rugby Champ. Bled. Cup)06.07.2013 v British and Irish Lions L 16-41 in Sydney
29.06.2013 v British and Irish Lions W 16-15 in Melbourne

Argentina Last Five P 5, W 1, L 4
07.09.2013 v New Zealand L 13-28 in Hamilton (Rugby Championship)24.08.2013 v South Africa L 17-22 in Mendoza (Rugby Championship)
17.08.2013 v South Africa L 13-73 in Bloemfontein (Rugby Championship)22.06.2013 v Georgia W 29-18 in San Juan
15.06.2013 v England L 26-51 in Buenos Aires

GWC Rugby Rankings
Australia 11th, Argentina 15th

IRB Ranking Points
Australia 83.67, Argentina 76.41

Prediction: Australia should win this but I’m picking Argentina to win on the basis of their rapid recent improvement, Australia’s poor form and that Graham Henry factor.
Argentina by 3 points.




15   Israel Folau  NSW Waratahs
14   James O’Connor  Melbourne Rebels
13   Adam Ashley-Cooper  NSW Waratahs
12   Christian Leali’ifano  ACT Brumbies
11   Nicholas Cummings WA Western Force
10   Quade Cooper  Queensland Reds
9   Nicholas White  ACT Brumbies
8   Benjamin Mowen (Capt.) ACT Brumbies
7   Michael Hooper  NSW Waratahs
6   Scott Fardy  ACT Brumbies
5   Kane Douglas NSW Waratahs
4   Robert Simmons Queensland Reds
3   Benjamin Alexander  ACT Brumbies
2   Stephan Moore  ACT Brumbies
1   James Slipper  Queensland Reds
16   Saia Fainga’a  Queensland Reds
17   Scott Sio  ACT Brumbies
18   Sekope Kepu  NSW Waratahs
19   Sitaleki Timani NSW Waratahs
20   Benjamin McCalman WA Western Force
21   William Genia  Queensland Reds
22   Matthew Toomua  ACT Brumbies
23   Tevita Kuridrani ACT Brumbies
    HEAD COACH: Ewan MacKenzie



15   Juan Martín Hernández  Racing Metro 92, France
14   Horacio Agulla  Bath Rugby, England
13   Gonzalo Tiesi  London Welsh, England
12   Felipe Contepomi  Stade Français, France
11   Juan José Imhoff  Racing Metro, France
10   Nicolás Sánchez  Union Bordeaux Bègles, France 
9   Tomás Cubelli  Belgrano Athletic
8   Juan Manuel Leguizamón  RC Toulonnais, France
7   Pablo Matera  Asociación Alumni 
6   Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe (Capt.) Sale, England
5   Julio Farías Cabello  London Welsh, England
4   Manuel Carizza  Racing Metro 92, France
3   Juan Figallo  Montpellier Hérault Rugby, France
2   Agustín Creevy  Worcester Warriors, England 
1   Marcos Ayerza Leicester Tigers
16   Eusebio Guiñazú  Bath Rugby, England
17   Nahuel Lobo  Newcastle Falcons, England
18   Juan Pablo Orlandi  Bath Rugby, England
19   Mariano Galarza  Leinster, Ireland
20   Benjamín Macome Tucuman Rugby
21   Martin Landajo  Club Atletico San Isidro
22   Santiago Fernández  Montpellier Hérault Rugby, France
23   Lucas González Amorosino Montpellier Hérault Rugby, France
    HEAD COACH: Santiago Phelan

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