Tuesday, September 6, 2011

England vs Argentina 2009 - Match 3


Like the first two matches, the third clash between Pool B rivals Argentina and England took place in 2009, but this time in november. Having won one match each in June the second and third best teams from Rugby World Cup 2007 went head-to-head for a third time but this time in London. England were at full strength with the return of notable players including Johnny Wilkinson, Tom Croft and Ugo Monye from Lions duty while Argentina were forced to play without first choice players at flyhalf, inside centre, wing and backrow due to injury. Los Pumas were ravaged with injury to the extent that six of the players in the 22 man squad were amateur players and four of them were in the starting lineup. The highly respected 10-12 combination of Juan Martín Hernández and Felipe Contepomi from Rugby World Cup 2007 was replaced by the Argentine based pair of Santiago Fernández and Martín Rodríguez Gurruchaga.

England were therefore favorites and were expected to win by a big score. Experts were picking England by margins over 16 points or more with the lack Argentina´s injury-depleted backline considered not good enough to compete at all. England did win and powered home to win the game at the end but did so after being given a good match from Los Pumas. The 16-9 victory featured only one try as Matt Banahan scored for the third game running vs Argentina. The remainder of the points all game from kicks with English wizard, Johnny Wilkinson slotting an early dropgoal as well as two penalties while Argentine debutant, Martín Rodríguez Gurruchaga kicked nine points for the visitors. The seven point win looked like being a draw as Los Pumas pressed hard for a try late in the game and almost went over with time over on the match clock. It was not to be, however, as Welsh referee Nigel Owens blew fulltime and England were winners.

Argentina were unable to score a try but were praised for defending well with Horacio Agulla stopping Mark Cueto with a crunching tackle in what would certinaly have been a try in the first half. A number of the young players who were given the opportunity vs England stood tall and have since become permanent members of the squad. Martín Rodríguez Gurruchaga and Santiago Fernandez are both in the starting XV to play England this Saturday in Dunedin but neither had professional contracts in 2009. Of the side that faced England in this match in 2009, eight players are in the starting XV for the World Cup clash in Dunedin. For England the win was a part of the successful run of former captain, Martin Johnson as coach. Since winning the match, Johnson has been able to convert England into an increasingly competitive side. The Rugby World Cup clash could go either way and with both sides fielding superior sides than those from 2009 it is likely to go down to the wire.

England

15 Ugo Monye (Harlequins)
14 Mark Cueto (Sale Sharks)
13 Dan Hipkiss (Leicester Tigers)
12 Shane Geraghty (Northampton Saints)
11 Matt Banahan (Bath)
10 Johnny Wilkinson (Toulon)
9 Paul Hodgson (London Irish)
8 James Haskell (Stade Francais, France)
7 Lewis Moody (Leicester Tigers)
6 Tom Croft (Leicester Tigers)
5 Steve Borthwick captain (Saracens)
4 Louis Deacon (Leicester Tigers)
3 Duncan Bell (Bath)
2 Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints)
1 Tim Payne (London Wasps)

Reserves

16 Steve Thompson (CA Brive, France), 17 Paul Doran-Jones (Gloucester), 18 Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), 19 Joe Worsley (London Wasps), 20 Danny Care (Harlequins), 21 Andy Goode (CA Brive, France), 22 Ayoola Erinle (Biarritz, France)

Argentina

15 Horacio Agulla (CA Brive, France)
14 Lucas Borges (Dax, France)
13 Gonzalo Tiesi (Harlequins, England)
12 Martín Rodríguez Gurruchaga (Atletico de Rosario)
11 Mauro Comuzzi (Pucurá)
10 Santiago Fernandez (Hindu)
9 Alfredo Lalanne (London Irish, England)
8 Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe captain (Toulon, France)
7 Alfredo Abadie (Rovigo, Italy)
6 Tomas Leonardi (SIC)
5 Patricio Albacete (Toulouse, France)
4 Esteban Lozada (Toulon, France)
3 Martín Scelzo (Clermont, France)
2 Mario Ledesma (Clermont, France)
1 Rodrigo Roncero (Stade Français, France)
Reserves

16 Alberto Vernet Basualdo (Toulouse, France), 17 Marcos Ayerza (Leicester Tigers, England), 18 Manuel Carizza (Biarritz, France), 19 Alejandro Campos (Montauban, France), 20 Agustin Figuerola (CASI), 21 Benjamin Urdapilleta (CU Buenos Aires), 22 Federico Martin Aramburu (Dax, France)



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