The last of my 9 pool games took me back to Leicester, to see Argentina for the 2nd Sunday in a row; their opponents this time were Namibia. It was a disappointment that Jacques Burger had hung his international boots up before the match, he’s been a man mountain for his country!
I had a smooth drive from Warrington to Leicester – I’m beginning to think I should have made miles travelled part of this blog, but all a bit late now. This weekend was certainly one that had me in my car for hours on end! I parked as before in a side road not far from the ground and strolled straight to Morrison’s for cake and a cuppa’ I certainly know how to live!
I had a category A ticket for the match and certainly had a great seat; The King Power Stadium had done a very good job of putting rugby on, it’s been one of my favourite venues for the pool games.
Argentina had played exciting, running rugby against Tonga, kicking for territory wasn’t part of their plan. I’m pleased to say they carried on where they left off.
The Argentinians are an excitable crowd and their team gave them plenty to shout about, scoring 4 tries before half time securing a bonus point with tries by Juan Martin Hernandez, Matias Moroni, Horacio Agulla and Facundo Isa.
Their style of play was a joy to watch, I often wonder what a non rugby fan would make of a game of rugby union and sometimes in mid winter I can see they’d watch one match never to return. Had this been a first experience new union fans would have been won over.
I mentioned Argentina’s inclusion in the Rugby Championship – I’d say that their 3 years have seen this time go up a level in every area of their game.
Namibia weren’t there to make up the numbers and scored their first try of the game in the 1st half through Johan Trump to the delight of every neutral in the ground. In common with the South Africa v USA match I’d watched, the penalty count also went against the less experienced team, they conceded 10 penalties and saw 2 yellow cards. They made a mighty 160 tackles, but missed 59.
I must mention the first kick at the posts taken by Santiago Gonzalez from an easy position right in front of the posts missed! I think I’d have got the ball over – in heels!
The 2nd half saw Lucas Nogueira, Matias Alemanno, Leonardo Senatore, Julian Montoya and Tomas Cubelli score tries for Argentina – it was a virtual try fest!
An Argentinian also saw yellow in the second half – Marcelo Bosch, a Saracens man in his day job, tip tackled Thenus Kotze – with Kotze landing on his head. I’m afraid I was yelling for the tackle to be reviewed – a bit odd as I’m a Saracens fan, but I’d say Bosch was lucky he only saw yellow!
Namibia weren’t finished having scored their 1st half try, JC Greyling and Eugene Jantjies added a further 2 tries again to loud cheers and applause.
The Argentinians are great company, they sang loud and with great joy – they also made sure that Swing Low Sweet Chariot didn’t get off the ground, that wasn’t happening with their team playing!
The fina score was Argentina 64 Namibia 19 – Las Pumas march on into the quarter finals and will face Ireland. Namibia go home, having won more than a few hearts.
I’ll be watching Argentina for a 3rd Sunday in a row in Cardiff – they look a team ready to go forward in this World Cup, but Ireland will look at the try scoring efforts of Namibia and of course be unlikely to give away too many penalties or too much space. I wonder who I’ll be watching in the semi-final?
- Cost of Ticket £85.00