SAN JUAN.- To the imposing Cordillera de los Andes, the good wine and the birthplace of Domingo Faustino Sarmiento should begin to add the Pumas as San Juan icons. For the fourth time in seven years and second consecutive, the Argentine national team arrives with his rugby to play an international match. It arrives with other ínfulas that in the previous occasions, but the same urgency to leave a victorious footprint.
This Saturday, at the Sixteen.forty and at the San Juan del Bicentenario Stadium, the Pumas will receive Wales driven by the mental release that represents the great campaign of this same team in the Super Rugby, and at the same time, with the additional responsibility which implies reversing a cluster of defeats: 17 in the last 20 games.
With the 2019 World Cup Japan already emerging on the horizon, it would be helpful for the team to get used to winning also with the blue and white shirt. At the same time, the Welsh team will be a test to see to what extent it suits the coach Daniel Hourcade to alter the snide of the game that the group consolidated while dressed in Jaguars and, of course, to what extent this can be transferred to a test- match
In the names, at least, there are no differences: except one, the holders are those who played 15 days ago in Vélez, and the valuable addition of Pablo Matera is given, recovered from an injury. But what about the game?
"The systems are similar, not the same", warned Agustín Creevy. "There are a lot of factors that change, in the forwards not so much, only some minimal details in the scrum, but there are more variants in the semiataque, and it does not imply playing for a professional team that represents the country," he added. captain.
Hourcade has a double-edged sword in his possession. On the one hand, the great moment of Jaguars allows him to receive a team for the first time with confidence through the clouds. On the other hand, although an ingredient of lower weight than the previous one, the positive streak itself reduced the margin of contemplation for the DT. The transition, the adaptation, the learning and the wear of the first two years in the Super Rugby ceased to be an excuse.
Under the command of Mario Ledesma, the team again became strong in fundamental issues of the game, such as defense, discipline and care of the ball, and improved in the fixed formations. But in addition the exhooker endowed it with a structure different from that printed by Hourcade, which stated that it wanted to capitalize on this growth and add variants to counteract the greater fight in the breakdown and the greater defensive solidity of the northern hemisphere teams. The underlying doubt is whether it will be able to sustain these variants without undermining those bases.
Above, Wales arrives decimated. Coach Warren Gatland gave rest to some of the leading figures, including Alun-Wyn Jones, Dan Biggar, Liam Williams, Leigh Halfpenny, Jamie Roberts, Toby Faletau and Rhys Webb. Even so, it is a world-class team, which always presents a tremendous battle with the forwards, is solid in all aspects and has unbalanced rugby players, such as Ross Moriarty, Scott Williams and Geroge North.
"Wales always complicates us," admitted Creevy, who recovers the tape after delivering it to Matera in Jaguars. "He has a good maul, a 9 that slips, an opening with a good kick, a powerful 8. If we give penalties, make pay with points or put pressure and can complicate the game, we must have the initiative and work constantly," he said.
It is expected that the stadium, with a capacity of 25,000 spectators, will be full, as it was last year. Contrary to that time, when the Pumas wasted a great likelihood of beating England and lost in the closing, we can expect an appropriate outcome. From this it will be possible to discuss better with which weapons it is convenient to retrace the road towards Japan 2019.
The Pumas: Emiliano Boffelli; Bautista Delguy, Matías Orlando, Jerónimo De la Fuente and Ramiro Moyano; Nicolás Sánchez and Gonzalo Bertranou; Marcos Kremer, Javier Ortega Desio and Pablo Matera; Tomás Lavanini and Guido Petti Pagadizábal; Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, Agustín Creevy (captain) and Santiago García Botta.
Coach: Daniel Hourcade.
Substitutes: Sebastián Cancelliere, Santiago González Iglesias, Martín Landajo, Tomás Lezana, Matías Alemanno, Santiago Medrano, Javier Díaz and Julián Montoya.
Wales: Hallam Amos; Josh Adams, Scott Williams, Hadleigh Parkes and George North; Rhys Patchell and Gareth Davies; James Davies, Ross Moriarty and Seb Davies; Cory Hill (captain) and Adam Beard; Dillon Lewis, Elliot Dee and Steal Evans.
Coach: Warren Gatland.
Substitutes: Owen Watkin, Gareth Anscombe, Aled Davies, Aaron Wainwright, Josh Turnbull, Tomas Francis, Nicky Smith and Ryan Elias.
Stadium: San Juan del Bicentenario.
Referee: Andrew Brace (Ireland).
TV: ESPN three.
Did you like this note?