Italy v Argentina - Teams and Prediction
DESPERATE TEAMS: One miserable Test streak will end this weekend.
Italy host Argentina in Treviso on Saturday with both teams desperate for an overdue taste of victory.
The Azzurri are on a 15-match losing streak since the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
The Pumas’ streak has grown to seven consecutive tests since July, including a winless Rugby Championship.
Neither team cares at this point about how they look on the field. They just want to win.
“We are going to do what we have to do to win,” Argentina centre Matias Moroni said.
“If we have to play ugly, we will play ugly. If it suits us to play cute, we will do that. It will depend on what we set out to do to win.
“Some criticise South Africa’s [kick-first, power] game but they win. Others play cute and lose.
“There’s a way to play cute and a way to win.”
Argentina succumbed 20-29 to France last weekend in their European tour opener.
Moroni believes they can’t afford to think about their losing streak.
“If you keep thinking about what has happened, you put pressure on yourself and it makes no sense,” he said.
Kieran Crowley, Italy’s third coach during their losing streak, agreed.
He took some positives – notably an aggressive defence – from his first match in charge, the predictable 9-47 loss to New Zealand in Rome last weekend.
“Among our aims, apart from getting positive results, is also that of creating a precise identity and gaining respect on an international level,” Crowley said.
“Those factors came out strongly.”
Players to watch
For Italy: Flyhalf Paolo Garbisi is a great player on attack and he will be hoping his pack can give him better ball to work with. Luca Morisi returns to the line-up at inside centre after a year’s absence and will bring plenty of experience. In the pack, Sebastian Negri is a powerhouse in the back row, while Ivan Nemer makes his first start at loosehead prop.
For Argentina: Santiago Carreras gets another shot on the No.10 jersey and his battle with Paolo Garbisi will be an interesting one. Scrumhalf Tomas Cubelli will direct things from the base of the ruck and he makes good decisions when his team is under pressure. In the pack, Tomas Lavanini brings aggression and physicality, while Pablo Matera is a workhorse at the breakdowns.
Head to head
Italy v Argentina
Last 10 encounters
@rugby365com: Argentina by nine points.
Italy: 15 Matteo Minozzi, 14 Edoardo Padovani, 13 Juan Ignacio Brex, 12 Luca Morisi, 11 Montanna Ioane, 10 Paolo Garbisi, 9 Stephen Varney, 8 Giovanni Licata, 7 Michele Lamaro (captain), 6 Sebastian Negri, 5 David Sisi, 4 Niccolo Cannone, 3 Marco Riccioni, 2 Gianmarco Lucchesi, 1 Ivan Nemer.
Replacements: 16 Luca Bigi, 17 Danilo Fischetti, 18 Pietro Ceccarelli, 19 Marco Fuser, 20 Federico Ruzza, 21 Giovanni Pettinelli, 22 Alessandro Fusco, 23 Federico Mori.
Argentina: 15 Emiliano Boffelli, 14 Santiago Cordero, 13 Matias Moroni, 12 Jeronimo de la Fuente, 11 Mateo Carreras, 10 Santiago Carreras, 9 Tomas Cubelli, 8 Facundo Isa, 7 Juan Martin Gonzalez, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Tomas Lavanini, 4 Marcos Kremer, 3 Francisco Gomez Kodela, 2 Julian Montoya (captain), 1 Thomas Gallo.
Replacements: 16 Facundo Bosch, 17 Ignacio Calles, 18 Santiago Medrano, 19 Lucas Paulos, 20 Santiago Grondona, 21 Gonzalo Bertranou, 22 Nicolas Sanchez, 23 Lucio Cinti.
Date: Saturday, November 13
Venue: Stadio Monigo, Treviso
Kick-off: 14.00 (13.00 GMT; 10.00 ART)
Expected weather: It will be cloudy with showers with a high of 15°C and a low of 11°C
Referee: James Doleman (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Paul Williams (New Zealand), Ben Blain (Scotland)
TMO: Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)
AAP & @rugby365com