PREVIEW: Barbarians v Argentina
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Argentina will have the chance to end the year with a win after enduring a tough tour.
After beating South Africa and Australia in the Rugby Championship, the Argentinians disappointingly failed to get a win in their three Test matches in Europe against Ireland, France and Scotland.
A loss against a Barbarians team, who only had a weak together to prepare for the match, will only compound matters for the Pumas and Mario Ledesma.
Yet Ledesma was confident enough to make 10 changes to his team that lost 9-14 to Scotland last weekend.
— Barbarian FC (@Barbarian_FC) November 29, 2018
Meanwhile, Barbarians coach Rassie Erasmus has decided to bring in 13 Springboks in his matchday 23, with eight of those players starting against Argentina.
“It a little bit more familiar for me, but the idea is to get as much as possible involved. There is a mix of guys in here and I guess that is what we are trying to achieve,” said Erasmus.
“It is tough in one week to get the structure going, but we know the open play will work with the amount of talent we have here.
“The stupid thing would be to try and overcoach them in three sessions. I think every player here has got some X-factor, something that is his point of difference and I would like to see that come out. We will have a basic structure, which will allow them to try and do that.
“But while saying that, winning a scrum, getting your line-outs, getting your kick-offs, that’s vital if you want to perform against a team like Argentina.”
Players to watch:
For Barbarians: Argentina star Juan Manuel Leguizamon will be up against some familiar faces at Twickenham on Saturday and he will be motivated to do well. New Zealand great Wyatt Crockett will lead the team and he is a powerful ball carrier and he will be a force in the set pieces as well. Pieter-Steph du Toit can do plenty of damage in open play with ball in hand. Out wide, Aphiwe Dyantyi will be a hard man to stop if he is given some space.
For Argentina: Los Pumas have some big bruisers up front in the form of Matias Alemanno and Guido Petti, while captain Pablo Matera has been outstanding this year and he will be causing the Barbarians some problems at the breakdowns. In the backline, there is plenty of talent in the form of Sebastian Cancelliere, Matias Orlando, Bautista Ezcurra and Ramiro Moyano. There will also be a big spotlight on Juan Cruz Mallia, who makes his first start for Argentina.
Head to head: The more interesting battles will probably be up front, particularly in the second row and back row. Rodrigo Bruni, Tomas Lezana and Pablo Matera form a dynamic back row compared to the big physical appearance of the Barbarians’ trio consisting of Juan Manuel Leguizamon, Pieter-Steph du Toit and Siya Kolisi.
1990: Barbarians won 34-22, Cardiff
2015: Argentina won 49-31, London
Prediction: Argentina will take this one by 12 points.
Barbarians: 15 Jack Debreczeni (Chiefs), 14 Tommaso Benvenuti (Benetton & Italy), 13 Tom English (Rebels & Australia), 12 Damian de Allende (Stormers & South Africa), 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi (Lions & South Africa), 10 Handre Pollard (Bulls & South Africa), 9 Leon Fukofuka (Auckland & Tonga), 8 Juan Manuel Leguizamon (Jaguares & Argentina), 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit (Stormers & South Africa), 6 Siya Kolisi (Stormers & South Africa), 5 Lood de Jager (Bulls & South Africa), 4 Luke Jones (Bordeaux Begles & Australia), 3 Trevor Nyakane (Bulls & South Africa), 2 Schalk Brits (South Africa), 1 Wyatt Crockett (Crusaders & New Zealand, captain).
Replacements: 16 Steven Kitshoff (Stormers & South Africa), 17 Malcolm Marx (Lions & South Africa), 18 Anton Peikrishvili (Cardiff Blues & Georgia), 19 Sikhumbuzo Notshe (Stormers & South Africa), 20 Jordan Taufua (Crusaders), 21 Frank Lomani (Rebels & Fiji), 22 Jesse Kriel (Bulls & South Africa), 23 Elton Jantjies (Lions & South Africa).
Argentina: 15 Juan Cruz Mallia, 14 Sebastian Cancelliere, 13 Matias Orlando, 12 Bautista Ezcurra, 11 Ramiro Moyano, 10 Joaquin Diaz Bonilla, 9 Martin Landajo, 8 Rodrigo Bruni, 7 Tomas Lezana, 6 Pablo Matera (captain), 5 Matias Alemanno, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Santiago Medrano, 2 Julian Montoya, 1 Juan Pablo Zeiss.
Replacements: 16 Agustin Creevy, 17 Mayco Vivas, 18 Lucio Sordoni, 19 Tomas Lavanini, 20 Santiago Grondona, 21 Tomas Cubelli, 22 Jeronimo de la Fuente, 23 Santiago Carreras.
Date: Saturday, December 1
Venue: Twickenham Stadium, London
Kick-off: 14.30 (14.30 GMT; 11.30 Argentina time)
Expected weather: Windy; periods of rain in the morning, then times of clouds and sun in the afternoon by the time of kick-off. 13°C is expected.
Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Andrew Brace (Ireland), Ben Whitehouse (Wales)
TMO: Andrew McMenemy (Scotland)
Breaking News: @Springboks coach Rassie Erasmus will PLAY (!) for us on Saturday…😮
He. Is. Back. 💪🔥👏
— Barbarian FC (@Barbarian_FC) November 27, 2018
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