Los Pumas: the roar to the British & Irish Lions

Almost 16 years have passed since an epic Monday night. On May 23, 2005, the feat was dyed blue and white wherever you look at it, but those grateful for the tie after… 90 minutes! it was the British & Irish Lions, who were preparing for the excursion to New Zealand, who achieved an agonizing equality on 25 points with a penalty from Jonny Wilkinson on the last play of the match.

The contest was entangled for those led at that time by Marcelo Loffreda, since 26 players due to injuries or authorizations dropped out of the momentous match. Felipe Contepomi made his debut as captain and in the previous one the opening said that “to be realistic, I don’t know if we have a lot of chances to win. But beyond the result, I would be satisfied if this team, with new players, with a lot of young people, follows the line of what Los Pumas had been showing: the same passion, loyalty to the game, sacrifice ”.

In the front line, after two years Mauricio Reggiardo and Federico Méndez appeared to accompany Mario Ledesma. Pablo Bouza and Mariano Sambucetti were the spare wheel in the second and during the anthem a 22-year-old from Santiago, named Juan Manuel Leguizamón, burst into tears and then in the game began to show his potential. Mendoza’s Federico Genoud and Martín Schusterman completed the third line.

The media couple was made up of Nicolás Fernández Miranda and Federico Todeschini. The centers were Felipe Contepomi and another who returned, Lisandro Arbizu, while the three from behind: José María Núñez Piossek and Francisco Leonelli at the ends and Bernardo Stortoni in the background.

The Lions, led by Clive Woodward who arrived as World Champion in Australia 2003 with England, made a mix of a team full of stars. The Pumas before 65 thousand people at the Millenium Stadium in Cardiff came out to pay dearly for the loss and did not win it because Stuart Dickinson, the match referee, added nine minutes until the Lions finally tied the game.

But, on the court, Los Pumas had their moment of glory with a first row that complicated the night for those in red, moments of good play and others where they appealed to their own love so that they did not overcome it. José María Núñez Piossek scored the only try, which began thanks to the genius of Felipe Contepomi, who saw the space and was cut off. Federico Todeschini, who fate had him another historic chapter at Twickenham the following year, hit the conversion and six penalties.

Always up on the scoreboard, Los Pumas left everything and when the clock reached 80 ‘the Australian Dickinson played nine more minutes. The Lions looked twice for the line to win the game, but had to settle for equality through Jonny Wilkinson’s penalty. For the end there were the hugs and the return to the court with all the ovation of the stadium.


LIONS (25): 1- Graham Rowntree, 2- Shane Byrne, 3- John Hayes; 4- Donna O’Callaghan, 5- Danny Grewcock; 6- Marin Corry, 7- Lewis Moody, 8- Michael Owen (c); 9- Gareth cooper, 10- Jonny Wilkinson; 11- Shane Williams, 12- Gordon D´Arcy, 13- Ollie Smith, 14- Danis Hickie; 15- Geordan Murphy.
Changes: ST: 10m Julian White for Hayes (BL); 18m Chris Cusiter for Cooper (BL), 21m Shane Horgan for Smith (BL); 29m Steve Thompson for Byrne and Ben Kay for Grewcock (BL).
Trainer: Clive Woodward.

ARGENTINA (25): 1- Federico Méndez, 2- Mario Ledesma, 3- Mauricio Reggiardo; 4- Pablo Bouza, 5- Mariano Sambucetti; 6- Martín Schusterman, 7- Federico Genoud, 8- Juan Manuel Leguizamón; 9- Nicolás Fernández Miranda, 10- Federico Todeschini; 11- Francisco Leonelli, 12- Felipe Contepomi (c), 13- Lisandro Arbizu, 14 José María Núñez Piossek; 15- Bernardo Stortoni.
Changes: ST: 29´ Santiago Sanz for Genoud (A); 32m Manuel Carizza for Sambucetti (A); 33m Lucio López Fleming for Todeschini (A). Substitutes: Eusebio Guiñazu, Leopoldo De Chazal, Francisco Bosch and Federico Serra.
Coach: Marcelo Loffreda.

POINTS IN THE FIRST TIME: 3´ Penalty by Federico Todeschini (A), 6´ Try by José María Nuñez Piossek converted by Federico Todeschini (A), 14´ Penalty by Federico Todeschini (A), 16´ Try by Ollie Smith converted by Jonny Wilkinson (BL), 21 ‘Penalty by Federico Todeschini (A), 31’ Penalty by Jonny Wilkinson (BL), 34 ‘Penalty by Federico Todeschini (A), 38’ Penalty by Jonny Wilkinson (BL), 44 ‘Penalty by Jonny Wilkinson (BL).

Partial Result: British & Irish Lions 16 – 19 Argentina

POINTS IN THE SECOND TIME: 8´ Penalty by Jonny Wilkinson (BL), 14´ Penalty by Federico Todeschini (A), 18´ Penalty by Federico Todeschini (A), 26´ Penalty by Jonny Wilkinson (BL), 48´ Penalty by Jonny Wilkinson (BL).

Referee: Stuart Dickinson (Australia)

Basketball court: Millenium Stadium Cardiff.