Player Ratings - Argentina
Argentina booked their place in the World Cup semi-finals next week with a hard-fought 29-17 over Wales in Marseille on Saturday.
It was a game where the lead changed hands over the 80 minutes, but ultimately the Argentine bench steered Michael Cheika’s side to victory.
It was as solid and well-disciplined as Argentina have looked all World Cup, which will fill them with confidence heading to Paris next week. Here’s how the players rated:
15 Juan Cruz Mallia – 7
The Argentina player with the most runs, the most metres and the most offloads going into the match and looked dangerous early on with ball in hand. Perhaps faded away as the match went on, but that is just how the game panned out.
14 Emiliano Boffelli – 9
Did not have a particularly eventful game in attack, but his most crucial intervention came with the boot, where he kicked 7/8 kicks. After a strong early start from Wales, it was the winger’s boot that kept Argentina in the game, particularly one monster penalty.
13 Lucio Cinti – 7
A frequently used carrying option, albeit with not a huge return. Put in some big hits against George North, but was a display that was not without some disciplinary issues
12 Santiago Chocobares – 5
Didn’t last half an hour before going off injured, but it was a 30 minutes full of action. Unfortunately for the centre that included a couple of handling errors and a missed tackle on George North which forced him off.
11 Mateo Carreras – 7
A quiet game for Argentina’s highest try scorer this World Cup, like it was for all outside backs in blue and white. Nevertheless, won a huge penalty short of the line in the first-half to quell Wales.
10 Santiago Carreras – 9
Showed what a real threat he is at the line, and kept the Welsh defence guessing at all times with a few line breaks. Ensured the Pumas were playing in the right areas of the field for most of the match.
9 Tomas Cubelli – 7
A game not without errors – chiefly a missed tackle for opening try – but helped keep Argentina playing at a nice tempo, and left the match on 55 minutes with his side on top.
1 Thomas Gallo – 8
Rock solid in the scrum and full of energy. Showed what a ball carrying presence he is, with only Facundo Isa making more carries in the Pumas pack.
2 Julian Montoya (captain) – 8
You can’t ask for more than a 100 percent record at the lineout and that’s what the captain delivered. Led from the front as he always does, particularly in defence.
3 Francisco Gómez Kodela – 8
Argentina’s scrum had not been its strongest going into the match, but it did not falter in Marseille while Kodela was on the field- he even won a set-piece penalty to add to his game. Got through his share of carries for a 39-year-old as well.
4 Guido Petti Pagadizabal – 8
There to tackle, and tackle he did with ten tackles. Massive figure at the lineout as well as the Pumas dominated that area of the game.
5 Tomas Lavanini – 7
A big shift for the 55 minutes he was on the field in all areas, and put the Welsh lineout under a lot of pressure.
6 Juan Martin Gonzalez – 7
A vital cog in the Pumas’ lineout and hit rucks to generate quick ball. A quiet game elsewhere, although he did win a crucial penalty when Wales were building pressure in the second-half.
7 Marcos Kremer – 9
Argentina’s most prolific tackler this World Cup going into the match and the player who had made the most dominant tackles. Brought that kind of intensity to the Pumas’ defence, although his aggressive nature did lead to a few missed tackles. Shouldn’t deter from Argentine enforcer’s game.
8 Facundo Isa – 8
In just his second start of the World Cup after being in the XV to face Chile, the No8 was monumental in attack in his 55 minutes on the field, making plenty of carries, eating up the metres and beating defenders for fun. Strong carries all over the field in a huge display.
16 Agustín Creevy – 7
Kept Argentina’s lineout functioning well, which included some throws under immense pressure.
17 Joel Sclavi – 8
Scored Argentina’s first and vital try within seconds of entering the field. Not a bad way to make an impact. Did concede a scrum penalty a few minutes later but it did not amount to anything.
18 Eduardo Bello – 7
Weak defence to allow Wales to score just minutes after coming onto the field, but pulled off a sumptuous turnover when Wales were on the attack late on.
19 Matias Alemanno – 8
Kept the same intensity his predecessor Lavanini brought to the match.
20 Rodrigo Bruni – 6
Was quiet in the final quarter, but did not put a foot wrong as the Pumas held out.
21 Lautaro Bazan Velez – 7
Was lively after coming on and spurred Argentina on to fight back after Wales retook the lead shortly after he came on.
22 Nicolas Sanchez – 8
Scored the match winner and put the game to bed with his interception. A great impact from a fan favourite.
23 Matías Moroni – 7
After replacing Chocobares after 30 minutes, he struggled to get into the game and his luck didn’t change in the second-half. Having said that, he came to his side’s rescue at a vital moment with a try-saving tackle on Rees-Zammit in the final ten minutes.
By Josh Raisey