Planet Rugby

Pumas secure scrappy victory in Verona

13th November 2010 12:48

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Lucas Gonzalez

Gonzalez: Key man

Argentina continued their dominance over Italy away from home with a 22-16 victory over the Azzurri in Verona.

Neither side were able to build any momentum in a game punctuated by a plethora of knock-ons and schoolboy errors.

In what was billed as a battle of the tight five, neither team asserted their authority up front, with the level of commitment not matched by the level of execution.

Felipe Contepomi and Mirco Bergamasco traded penalties during an error-strewn first half before Argentine full-back Martin Rodriguez crossed over for the game's first five-pointer after 49 minutes.

The ball was spread wide to Lucas Gonzalez who raced down the touchline before delicately chipping the ball back in field where Rodriguez collected and dived over for the score.

Sergio Parisse's chip and chase in the second minute the closest the home side came to crossing the tryline until five minutes from the final whistle.

Luke McLean's desperate surge for the line resulted in a trip to the sin bin for Pumas lock Mariano Galarza. Referee Chris Pollock had seen enough when a scrum from the resulting penalty was collapsed by the Argentines and handed the Italians a lifeline by awarding a penalty try.

But it was a case of too little too late for the Italians as they conceded a penalty from the restart to ensure that the Pumas extended their winning streak in Italy to five games.

Man of the match: In a game of little quality where place kitting was key, Felipe Contepomi's 17 points were the difference between the two teams. The fly-half did not not have matters his own way, missing two kicks he would have expected to get, but his 'superior' accuracy was crucial.

Moment of the match:Had Sergio Parisse been able to make more of the opportunity presented to him when Craig Gower released him behind the Argentine defence, the game may have had a very different complexion.

For Italy:
Tries: Penalty try
Cons: Mirco Bergamasco
Pens: Bergamasco (3)

For Argentina:
Tries: Martin Rodriguez
Cons: Felipe Contepomi
Pens: Contepomi (5)

Yellow card: Mariano Galarza

The teams:

Italy: 15 Luke McLean, 14 Tommaso Benvenuti , 13 Gonzalo Canale, 12 Andrea Masi, 11 Mirco Bergamasco, 10 Craig Gower, 9 Tito Tebaldi, 8 Sergio Parisse (c), 7 Robert Barbieri, 6 Alessandro Zanni, 5 Quintin Geldenhuys, 4 Carlo Antonio Del Fava, 3 Martin Castrogiovanni, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1 Salvatore Perugini
Replacements: 16 Fabio Ongaro, 17 Andrea Lo Cicero, 18 Santiago Dellape', 19 Paul Derbyshire, 20 Pablo Canavosio, 21 Luciano Orquera, 22 Alberto Sgarbi.

Argentina: 15 Martin Rodriguez, 14 Gonzalo Camacho, 13 Gonzalo Tiesi, 12 Santiago Fernandez, 11 Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino, 10 Felipe Contepomi (c), 9 Nicolas Vergallo; 8 Juan Fernandez Lobbe, 7 Miguel De Achaval, 6 Genaro Fessia, 5 Mariano Galarza, 4 Manuel Carizza, 3 Martin Scelzo, 2 Mario Ledesma, 1 Rodrigo Roncero.
Replacements: 16 Agustín Creevy, 17 Marcos Ayerza, 18 Juan Figallo, 19 Esteban Lozada, 20 Álvaro Galindo, 21 Alfredo Lalanne, 22 Horacio Agulla.

Referee: Chris Pollock (New Zealand)

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