Player ratings: Vamos Los Pumas
OPINION: A week after their famous victory against the All Blacks in Sydney, Argentina put in a remarkably energetic and dogged performance against Australia in Newcastle, though it ended in a 15-15 draw for the visiting side.
Argentina came under plenty of pressure early in the game and weathered the storm with some excellent defence, before slowly but surely kicking their way back into the game and nearly pulling off what would have been an outstanding win.
Alex Shaw has compiled his player ratings for the Pumas!
Santiago Carreras – 7
In a first half dominated by Australia offensively, Carreras saved two tries with a good one-on-one tackle in space, as well as the right read and defensive pressure which forced Australia into a forward pass. His accuracy and speed on the kick chase was also noteworthy.
Bautista Delguy – 7
The wing was Argentina’s most consistent source of attacking incision, as he had two or three effective runs from deep back at the Australian defence. He also put some key defensive pressure on with good reads and line-speed.
Matías Orlando – 5
Orlando had a good game defensively, though his ability to impact the game offensively was limited and unfortunately resulted in him coughing up a turnover on one of Argentina’s few ventures into the Australian 22.
Santiago Chocobares – 7
The work rate and decision-making of Chocobares in defence belied his young age on Saturday, as he repeatedly made key, dominant tackles on an Australia side enjoying the lion’s share of possession.
Juan Imhoff – 6
Some solid defence from Imhoff early in the game, as well as one jinking run, though he was off the pitch after 14 minutes with a hamstring injury.
Nicolás Sánchez – 7
Not necessarily the playmaking masterclass we often see from Sánchez, though that was dictated by the scenarios he found himself in during the game. His tactical kicking was consistently good and his goal-kicking, where he made five of his six kicks, was crucial to keep the Pumas in the game.
Gonzalo Bertranou – 6
The scrum-half relieved pressure well for Argentina in the first half, with his exit kicks usually finding touch at around the halfway line. His passing was crisp and accurate, giving Argentina tempo when they needed it.
Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro – 4
It was a tough outing for Tetaz Charparro who spent much of his time at the scrum bent in half by the powerhouse Taniela Tupou. With the Argentine scrum on the back foot, it was a reliable foundation for Australia’s attacks.
Julián Montoya – 5
Not the best outing Montoya has had for Argentina, as the hooker was unable to connect on two of his seven lineouts and infringed multiple times at the breakdown, one of which saw him spend 10 minutes in the sin bin.
Francisco Gómez Kodela – 5
The tighthead fared slightly better than his propping colleague, but he was still on the receiving end of some dominant Australian scrummaging. He provided a little more impact in the loose, too.
Guido Petti – 8
Effective on the both sides of the ball, Petti impressed with his work rate, his set-piece play, which included two lineout steals, and the physicality he was able to exert on the Wallabies. His outing was only marred by a lost ball in the carry.
Matías Alemanno – 6
The lock complemented Petti with his ability to disrupt the Australian lineout and deny them any sort of consistent ball. He was the most reliable target at the attacking lineout, too.
Pablo Matera – 7
A typically committed performance from the Pumas captain who was efficient in the tackle, hard-working at the breakdown and constantly popping up at crucial times for his side. He was able to make valuable ground when he got his hands on the ball, too.
Marcos Kremer – 5
The powerful blindside was a little passive in the tackle and not as sharp as he usually is on the role of the guard at the ruck, as well as being penalised multiple times. He grew into the game and had a stronger second half, though, and began to make a bigger impact before being called off for a HIA.
Rodrigo Bruni – 6
Bruni’s control of the ball at the base of a rapidly retreating scrum was a major help to his side, whilst his defensive energy also stood out. He wasn’t quite able to give Argentina the front-foot ball they would have liked but it was a solid showing overall.
Santiago Socino – 5
Socino’s indiscipline cost Argentina three points during Montoya’s period in the sin bin.
Mayco Vivas – 7
The loosehead helped give Argentina parity at the scrum, although in fairness to Tetaz Chaparro, Vivas did not have to go up against Tupou following his arrival on the pitch.
Santiago Medrano – 7
Medrano’s arrival brought Argentina’s first won scrum penalty of the game and like Vivas, ensured Argentina went from leaking scrum penalties to ensuring that they had at least parity for the remainder of the game.
Santiago Grondona – 6
Kremer moved into lock after Grondona replaced Alemanno and it coincided with an uptick in Argentina’s ability to get over the gain-line.
Facundo Isa – 7
The back rower won Argentina a key penalty late in the game which brought his side to within three points of the Wallabies. Isa also brought some physicality in the carry that Argentina’s pack had been lacking earlier in the game.
Felipe Ezcurra – n/a
Emiliano Boffelli – 5
Boffelli’s involvement in the game was relatively limited despite his early arrival, and though he had a couple of good attacking moments, he was also caught out defensively on a couple of occasions, as well as spilling a key aerial ball in the contact late in the game.
Santiago Cordero – n/a
Opportunities too few to make an impact on the game.