The Argentina XV Overpowered Chile in Ushuaia, winning 57-12. The victory in Ushuaia not only saw the home side playing an entertaining brand of rugby but it also did so from the visitors.
Chile had high and low points during the match. Indeed in just the second minute center Lucca Avelli made a clean line break, running 25 meters and he looked dangerous.
With Argentina’s scrum reputation having been severely tarnished in recent years the performance of Axel Zapata, Diego Fortuny and Lucas Favre was of note. The Argentina XV won penalties from two of the first three scrums of the game. Following the third Juan Cruz González opened the scoring with a penalty.
Chile’s line-out was also not performing. With a throw failing to go 5 meters the Argentina XV opted for a scrum. The Argentina XV’s superiority saw Santiago Portillo scoring from a push-over try. González landed the conversion to put the home side 10-0 ahead.
The best Cóndor of the opening quarter, Lucca Avelli made a second clean line-break in the 21st minute. It resulted in a penalty for the Chileans from which they mounted raid after raid before ultimately knocking-on within sight of the try line.
Chile are not in the ARC to make up the numbers. The team is playing to compete and to improve. Some players have stood out. Avelli was joined in this regard by Tomás Ianiszewski. The fullback scored a solo try in the 29th minute. Catching the defense napping he took a quick tap from a line-out and ran from inside his own half to score. With the testing wind he failed to convert his own try.
The Argentina XV got themselves deep into Chilean territory from the restart. Pressure saw Cóndores captain Javier Richard yellow carded. Richard had kicked the ball out of a ruck. The result was the Argentina XV went 17-5 up in the 34th minute.
Next the wind saw a freak bounce of the ball benefit the Argentina XV. Fullback Tomás Videla gladly ran on to get into clear space and score next to the posts. González put the Argentina XV 19 points ahead.
After the interval Chile came out flying. A brilliant start saw left winger Ítalo Zunino going over in the corner. Ianiszewski added the conversion to make it 24-12.
A kick is only as good as its chase. Chile learned this the hard way as a deep kick put the Argentina XV on the counter attack. Running from deep Tomás Molano broke clear, linking with González. Support was then found from center Santiago Resino who went over in the right corner.
By this point Chile was running low on gas. The Argentina XV took little time to find their way back over the try line. Resin broke clear to set up attacking ball from which Axel Zapata scored. The try was reminiscent of the great Rodrigo Roncero. Replacement Francisco Ferronato looked to copy and paste in scoring the next try.
Discipline was also proving a problem for Chile. Benjamín Soto and Avelli were yellow carded. This only opened more space for the Argentina XV to attack. Replacement Tomás Granella scored and converted his own try and also converted a push-over try scored by replacement Nicolás Sbrocco.
Both countries return again next weekend. Chile fly north to face the USA at Titan Stadium in Fullerton. The Argentina XV head to Punta del Este to take-on the high-flying Uruguay at Estadio Burgueño.
ARGENTINA XV 57
Tries – S. Portillo (15’), Penalty try (34’), T. Videla (36’), S. Resino (47’), A. Zapata (52’), F. Ferronato (57’), T. Granella (64’), N. Sbrocco (72’)
Cons – J. González 3/4 (16’, 37’, 53’), T. Granella 3/3 (58’, 65’, 73’)
Pens – J. González 1/1 (11’)
Tries – T. Ianiszewski (29’), I. Zunino (41’)
Cons – T. Ianiszewski 1/2 (42’)
Yellow cards – J. Richard (33’), B. Soto (55’), L. Avelli (63’)
1 Axel Zapata (17 Francisco Ferronato 54’), 2 Diego Fortuny, 3 Lucas Favre (18 Santiago Medrano 54’), 4 Jerónimo Ureta (19 Franco Molina 46’), 5 Diego Galetto, 6 Mariano Romanini (16 Gaspar Baldunciel 62’), 7 Tomás de la Vega (capt.), 8 Santiago Portillo (20 Nicolás Sbrocco 46’), 9 Facundo Nogueira (21 Gregorio del Prete 46’), 10 Juan Cruz González (22 Tomás Granella 54’), 11 Julián Domínguez, 12 Lucas Mensa, 13 Santiago Resino, 14 Tomás Malanos (23 Germán Schulz 52’), 15 Tomás Videla
1 Vittorio Lastra (18 Claudio Iturra 54’), 2 Tomás Dussaillant (16 Ignacio Guajardo 62’), 3 Marco Díaz (17 Sebastián Otero 46′), 4 Manuel Dagnino, 5 Mario Mayol (19 Thomas Orchard 66’), 6 Javier Richard (capt.), 7 Alfonso Escobar (20 Nicolás Garafulic 48’), 8 Benjamín Soto, 9 Beltrán Vergara (21 Domingo Saavedra 48’), 10 Benjamín Pizarro (22 José Tomás Baraona 58’), 11 Ítalo Zunino, 12 Francisco de la Fuente, 13 Lucca Avelli, 14 Matías Balbontín (23 Diego Ramírez 54’), 15 Tomás Ianiszewski
Referee: Joaquín Montes (URU)