After the fall in the first game against Australia, The Pumas are re-measured against Wallabies for the sixth and last date of Rugby Championship, with the aim of closing with a victory in Gold Coast. The duel will be on Saturday, at 3.50 live on Star +, ESPN (Argentina) and ESPN 2.
After confirming the withdrawal of six players from the possibility of being called up for not being able to enter Queensland, Mario Ledesma announced the team with mandatory modifications. Five are the changes in total to be measured against the local cast.
HOW DO THEY GET THERE: After losing the Bledisloe Cup to New Zealand for the Wallabies came the challenge of playing against the world champions. South Africa was the first objective and they solved it with very good rugby to beat it both times. Against Argentina they were not showy, but it was enough to clearly overcome them by 27 to 8. Australia arrives well in Dave Rennie’s second season as Head Coach. The coach managed to win once in 2020 over six games and this year he already has five wins in nine games played. They will be looking to win the fourth game in a row for the first time since the Rugby Championship has been played.
For Argentina it will be the closing of a tournament where things did not turn out well. Without triumphs, they will seek to avoid the six consecutive falls that have not been repeated since the 2017 tournament, although also in the reduced one of 2019 they did not win any of the three games they played.
WHAT DO THEY SEEK: Australia has not managed to get four wins in a row for four years. It was between October and November 2017 when it surpassed Argentina, New Zealand, Japan and Wales. They will seek to finish in second place, behind the All Blacks. The Pumas came from playing their best tournament, the Three Nations 2020, with a historic victory, for being the first, against the All Blacks, two draws and a single fall. The reality of the team today is totally different, so the objective will be to put the best team on the field to say goodbye to Australia in the best way.
THE KEYS: Dave Rennie’s hits started showing some symptoms in the June window. The return of Cooper and O’Connor was very important for the team, because they added experience and talent in driving. White’s contribution was also very effective, and they gave him a plus over the youth of Lolesio and McDermott, two players with a great future. They confirmed that with the ball they are a very dangerous team, especially because of what Kerevi and Koroibete did to break the rival defenses. Koroibete will not be against Argentina in the final match. The Pumas felt like no team in this Rugby Championship. Getting in tune was an unsolvable problem for Mario Ledesma, with a current situation of great uncertainty for Argentine rugby. In this scenario, injuries conspired in the game as much as lack of confidence because things did not work out. Thus, the indiscipline, the lack of regularity in obtaining and an attack that lacked a generation in the game were some of the impediments for Argentina not to take off in the tournament. So, despite the rotation that there was, there were not too many aspects to highlight, except the commitment of the players to defend, with Pablo Matera, Gonzalo Bertranou and Julián Montoya surpassing 60 positive tackles.
BACKGROUND: It will be the eighteenth meeting for the Rugby Championship between the Wallabies and Los Pumas. The Argentines tied the last two that were played by the 2020 Three Nations, 16 to 16 in Parramatta and 15 to 15 in Newcastle. The only triumphs that the national team obtained as a visitor were in Gold Coast in 2018 by 23 to 19 and in Mendoza in 2014 by 21 to 17, the first they achieved in the tournament under the leadership of Daniel Hourcade from Tucumán, today Manager of High SLAR Performance. The rest were thirteen victories for Australia, the widest at home was in the 2017 edition, in Canberra by 45 to 20.
THE PUMAS: 1- Rodrigo Martínez, 2- Julián Montoya, 3- Enrique Pieretto, 4- Guido Petti, 5- Tomás Lavanini, 6- Juan Martín Gonzalez, 7- Marcos Kremer, 8- Rodrigo Bruni, 9- Gonzalo Bertranou, 10- Santiago Carreras , 11- Emiliano Boffelli, 12- Santiago Chocobares, 13- Lucio Cinti, 14- Matías Moroni, 15- Juan Cruz Mallia
Substitutes: 16. Facundo Bosch 17. Thomas Gallo 18. Eduardo Bello 19. Matías Alemanno 20. Francisco Gorrissen 21. Gonzalo García 22. Domingo Miotti 23. Mateo Carreras
AUSTRALIA: 1. James Slipper, 2. Folau Fainga’a, 3. Taniela Tupou; 4. Izack Rodda, 5. Darcy Swain; 6. Pete Samu, 7. Michael Hooper (c), 8. Rob Valetini; 9. Nic White, 10. Quade Cooper; 11. Andrew Kellaway, 12. Samu Kerevi, 13. Len Ikitau, 14. Jordan Petaia; 15. Reece Hodge.
Alternates: 16 Lachlan Lonergan, 17 Angus Bell, 18 Greg Holmes, 19 Matt Philip, 20 Sean McMahon, 21 Jake Gordon, 22 James O’Connor, 23 Tom Wright.