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Argentina cruise to thumping victory over Wallabies

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Argentina have recorded their largest win ever as they crushed the Wallabies 48-17 in San Juan.

After a fortnight full of setbacks, the toll really seemed to show on Dave Rennie’s men as they were outclassed and out-energised for the full 80 minutes.

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The hosts scored two tries in six minutes as Los Pumas showed their intent early in front of a passionate crowd

Rob Valetini was the shining light in the defeat as he set up the first try to James Slipper before the hosts ran away with the contest.

Argentina capitalised on an inability to shut down the high ball and some disappointing defence to record the bonus-point win.

“Massive disappointment. That’s not good enough,” coach Dave Rennie said after the match.

“We conceded four tries with kicks in-between us and got dominated in the collision area. We created plenty of opportunities but we have to be patient and our rucks not a disaster.

“We just weren’t clinical enough.”

The Wallabies were immediately put on the back foot as miscommunication between Jordan Petaia and Tom Wright gifted Juan Imhoff a try in the first minute.

Prop Thomas Gallo extended Argentina’s advantage as Los Pumas took an early 14-0 lead after six minutes

Captain James Slipper steadied the ship for the visitors, diving over the line after a great run from Valetini.

With the visitors slowly finding their way back into the contest, returning flyhalf James O’Connor looked to have given them the lead as he dived over, however, it was brought back for an illegal cleanout.

This proved a key turning point as Argentina marched down the field and scored four minutes later via Jerónimo de la Fuente.

Some nice interchange between Len Ikitau and Lalakai Foketi put the visitors back on the attack, however, the high ball dramas came back to haunt them as the hosts continued to build pressure.

This allowed Juan Martín González Samso to score his second try in two games after a favourable bounce from a midfield kick.

Emiliano Boffelli looked to have capped off a dream first half with their fifth try of the game from yet another bomb before a great tackle from Marika Koroibete forced the mistake, keeping the lead at 26-10 heading into the changerooms.

The Wallabies started the second half strong as Valetini continued his brilliant game with a brutal run, only for Jordan Petaia to be stopped on the line.

Both teams hunted for an answer as Argentina continued to threaten, with the visitors’ defence holding on.

In the end, a double to Gallo and a yellow card to Fraser McReight helped Los Pumas extend the advantage to the delight of the San Juan crowd.

The Wallabies mounted a late charge as Len Ikitau’s late try helped reduce the margin late with ten minutes remaining.

However, Argentina proved too strong as they denied a pair of late attacks to secure the bonus point win, with Boffelli and Tomas Albornoz scoring two late tries to seal the win.

ARGENTINA 48

TRIES: Imhoff, Gallo 2, de la Fuente, González Samso, Boffelli, Albornoz

CONS: Boffelli 5/7

PENS: Boffelli 1/1

WALLABIES 17

TRIES: Slipper, Ikitau

CONS: O’Connor 2/2

PENS: O’Connor 1/1

Argentina: 15 Juan Cruz Mallía, 14 Emiliano Boffelli, 13 Matias Moroni, 12 Jerónimo de la Fuente, 11 Juan Imhoff, 10 Santiago Carreras, 9 Gonzalo Bertranou, 8 Pablo Matera, 7 Marcos Kremer, 6 Juan Martín González Samso, 5 Tomás Lavanini, 4 Matías Alemanno, 3 Francisco Gómez Kodela, 2 Julian Montoya (captain), 1 Thomas Gallo

Replacements: 16 Agustin Creevy, 17 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 18 Joel Sclavi, 19 Facundo Isa, 20 Rodrigo Bruni, 21 Tomas Cubeli, 22 Tomas Albornoz, 23 Lucio Cinti

Australia: 15 Tom Wright, 14 Jordan Petaia, 13 Len Ikitau, 12 Lalakai Foketi, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 James O’Connor, 9 Nic White, 8 Rob Valetini, 7 Fracer McReight, 6 Jed Holloway, 5 Darcy Swain, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Taniela Tupou 2 Lachlan Lonergan, 1 James Slipper (captain).

Replacements: 16 Billy Pollard, 17 Matt Gibbon, 18 Pone Fa’amausili, 19 Nick Frost, 20 Pete Samu, 21 Tate McDermott, 22 Irae Simone, 23 Reece Hodge.

Referee: Karl Dickson (England)

Assistant Referees: Mike Adamson (Scotland) & Chris Busby (Ireland)

TMO: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa)

Content & Images from – Australia Rugby


International

Savea back at the helm of the Hurricanes

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All Blacks loose forward Ardie Savea will captain the Hurricanes again for the 2023 DHL Super Rugby Pacific season.

Savea, who will have his 11th season in the side, will mark his first appearance in the competition by playing his 120th game.

The Hurricanes’ season opens against the Reds in round one.

Savea said: “I’m looking forward to the season, especially getting out to the communities, when we play in Levin against the Crusaders for our pre-season game and Palmerston North against the Western Force on Sunday, April 2.

“We’ve just moved into our new facility, and there’s something awesome about change; it’s brought in a lot of energy. It’s refreshing to come in and be in a new space alongside other professional teams. Hopefully, being here can help us move forward and prepare well for our games.”

The facility is part of the New Zealand Campus of Innovation and Sport at what was the Central Institute of Technology at Trentham and houses, several Wellington-based teams.

Coach Jason Holland was delighted to be able to call on Savea’s leadership ability again.

“Ardie is a special leader. He’s the sort of guy you want to follow in whatever he does. He’s worked hard at his leadership around all the small details, around how to get the best out of the people around him.

“He’s been good at driving us as a group, players and management, about being well-planned and clear in our roles in what we’re leading.

“Ards has a great relationship with all the boys and cares about them and the team and that shows in the way he leads.”

Content & Images from – New Zealand Rugby


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International

Marshall primed for Crusaders coaching opportunity

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James Marshall couldn’t escape rugby’s draw after retiring from playing and failed in his promised avoidance of the coaching ranks.

The former Super Rugby title winner with the Hurricanes has fitted into coaching so well that he will spend 2023 as backs coach for the Crusaders in Super Rugby Pacific.

Auckland-born Marshall started his rugby career with Tasman, but when missing a place in the Super Rugby structure, in a team or wider training group, he had a chance as a 20-year-old to play in Italy with Zebre.

It proved a stimulating experience in coping with playing a different style of rugby at a different level.

He returned to New Zealand six months later for another three seasons with Tasman before getting a chance in the Hurricanes’ wider squad. He had spent four years trying to get a place in the Crusaders.

“I could never crack it as a player but I’m here now as a coach,” he said.

“It is surreal to be here now. When I finished rugby, I promised my wife I wouldn’t get into coaching. We had moved around so many times during my career, even when I was playing for the Hurricanes moving to Taranaki every six months.

“We worked it out there were well over 20 houses we lived in throughout my career so when I got to the end of it I did say I wouldn’t be chasing the coaching dream, and I wouldn’t be moving the family around any more.”

However, back in Nelson, he got the chance to work with Andrew Goodman and Shane Christie, which gave him coaching work where he had decided to settle.

“Then a couple of years later,, I get a call from Razor [Scott Robertson] and it really throws a spanner in the works for my wife and when I got the opportunity, it was a no brainer. It’s such a good opportunity for me to learn and see where coaching can now take me.”

He contacted David Havili to see if he felt Marshall could do the job asked of him as backs coach and to see if he would have the backing of the players.

Havili got back in touch to say how much he thought Marshall could add to the environment. He also contacted some of his Hurricanes contacts and admitted being surprised at how supportive they were.

The Crusaders were one of the most successful sides in the sport’s history, and looking from the outside while playing, he had always wondered what went on and how they did it.

“It’s been impressive. It’s a well-run ship. Razor does a great job. Scotty Hansen, the detail he has on the rugby programme. Tamati Ellison, some of his coaching, it’s all world-class.

“It’s been awesome for me as a young coach to witness these guys at work and try and learn as much as I can off them.

“There’s also the players. It’s a pretty impressive squad when you look at it on paper and the chance to work with some world-class athletes and try and teach them as much as I can, but also try and learn from them,” he said.

Content & Images from – New Zealand Rugby


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6 Nations

RTÉ And Virgin Media Confirm Details Of Free-To-Air Six Nations Coverage

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RTÉ and Virgin Media Television today announced details of its joint Guinness Six Nations coverage, where the action will be free-to-air for supporters in the Republic of Ireland.

Kicking off on Friday, 3 February, this year’s Six Nations coverage will include all fixtures from Ireland’s Men’s, Women’s and U20 tournaments.

The partnership will see all games equally aired across both broadcasters again this year.

The 2023 Men’s Six Nations will open with Ireland v Wales on Virgin Media One, followed by England v Scotland on RTÉ2. Ireland will then take on current champions France on Saturday, 11 February.

The TikTok Women’s Six Nations will begin on Sunday, 26 March with Wales v Ireland.

Speaking at this morning’s launch at the Aviva Stadium, presenters Jacqui Hurley and Joe Molloy were joined on stage by members of their broadcast teams this year including pundits Rob Kearney, Fiona Hayes (Virgin Media Television), and RTÉ’s Jamie Heaslip and Hannah Tyrrell.

RTÉ also confirmed that Irish international and Munster player Simon Zebo will be joining their punditry team.

Commenting, Head of RTÉ Sport, Declan McBennett said: “With this being a great year for rugby, there is added excitement about this year’s Six Nations which RTÉ is once again bringing to sports fans all over the country free-to-air along with Virgin Media Ireland as part of our historic partnership which we launched last year.

“It’s going to be a huge year for Irish rugby and we’re really looking forward to it.”

Images & Content from Irish Rugby & Images © Inpho Photography


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