The Pumas bolted out of the blocks in Invercargill as they put the Romanian Oaks to the sword, recording a resounding 43-8 victory in their Pool B clash on Saturday.
Argentina started the game like a house on fire, winning quick ball and getting some good momentum on the front foot as they moved the heavy Romanian pack around, effectively taking the wind out of their massive sails.
The South Americans did well to keep the ball alive and attack the widening gaps in the Oaks' defensive lines as they ran the Romanians ragged, scoring six good tries in the process.
Michael de Vries rates the Argentina players.
15 Lucas González Amorosino:
A breathtaking performance, he was devastating on the counter-attack and constantly asked questions of the Romanian defenders. He ran great angles, swerving through gaps and generally shredding the defensive line at will. Also showed good positional play, great offloading skills and skipped through the gap to seal bonus point for his team. 9/10
14 Gonzalo Camacho:
Caught the eye early on with some purposeful running. Looked for work and chased kicks hard, winning a few vital high balls back for his team. 8/10
13 Marcelo Bosch:
Showed a good eye for the gap and asked plenty of questions of the Romanian midfield defence when he got the opportunity. 7/10
12 Martín Rodríguez:
Another fairly erratic goal-kicking performance but was a rock on defence and straightened the line well to create space for the dangerous outside backs. 7/10
11 Horacio Agulla:
Ran with purpose, linked well and pierced the Romanian defence regularly. Finished with a flourish as well popping up all over the show and was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet. 7/10
10 Santiago Fernández:
Showed good distribution skills and released his backline effectively. Took the gap well for his try to cap an assured performance in the absence of Contepomi. 8/10
9 Nicolás Vergallo:
Provided crisp service and showed that he is not afraid to back himself when the opportunity presents itself. A busy player who did well behind a scrum that was under pressure in the first half. 7/10
8 Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe:
A composed performance from the skipper. Worked as hard as ever and provided a great link between the forwards and the backline. A classic No.8 who also understands positional play very well. 8/10
7 Juan Manuel Leguizamón:
A stand-out performer, he was everywhere hitting the ball at pace and running great support lines. Finished his try in fine style, staying on his feet well and brushing off would-be defenders with ease, ever present. Got the opportunity to show off his silky handling skills and looked a class above his opponents. 9/10
6 Alejandro Campos:
An energetic performance from the hard-working flank. He charged over advantage line when given the chance and gave everything for the cause. 6/10
5 Patricio Albacete:
Got through some solid work in engine room, did the basics well and was a towering presence at line-out time. He tackled hard when called upon and can be satisfied with another good all-round performance. 7/10
4 Manuel Carizza:
Looked hungry for work and carried the ball up with gusto, showed good commitment on defence and put in some good work at the breakdown. 7/10
3 Juan Figallo:
Showed good strength to power over for his try. Charged over the advantage line when given the opportunity and withstood some serious pressure at scrum-time. 6/10
2 Mario Ledesma:
Not the most polished display from this seasoned campaigner, made a few handling errors but still managed to make his presence felt around the park. 5/10
1 Rodrigo Roncero:
Put under pressure at scrum-time by the powerful Romanian front row but carried the ball up well in open play and used his experience to good effect. 6/10
16 Agustín Creevy:
On at half-time for Ledesma. A strong showing, ripped the ball off a Romanian ball-carrier and was solid in his set-piece execution. Played with plenty of passion and made a real impact. 8/10
17 Martín Scelzo:
On for Roncero after 57 minutes. Did well at scrum-time as the Pumas started to dominate this area in the second half. 7/10
18 Mariano Galarza:
On for Campos after 74 minutes. Not on long enought to be rated.
19 Genaro Fessia:
On for Albacete aftet 65 minutes. Injected some good late intensity and showed good pace and determination to finish his try. 7/10
20 Alfredo Lalanne:
On for Vergallo after 63 minutes. A nippy customer who distributed well. 6/10
21 Nicolás Sánchez:
On for Fernández after 75 minutes. Not on long enought to be rated.
22 Juan Imhoff:
On after 49 minutes for Camacho. An enthusiastic display which was rewarded with a well-taken try when he cut back inside and flew past a few exhausted defenders. 8/10
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