Impressive Argentina too strong for Baa-Baas

Date published: November 21 2015

Argentina finished their international campaign off in style when they beat the Barbarians 49-31 at Twickenham on Saturday.

As the scoreline suggests this was an entertaining affair with both sides entering in to the Barbarians spirit of running the ball from all areas of the field.

In the end, Argentina's ability to turn defence in to attack paved the way to victory and they outscored their opponents seven tries to five, with Ramiro Moyano's 26th minute effort, after a counter-attack launched by Nicolás Sánchez inside his 22, the best of the lot.

There was a poignant moment before kick off as the sides line up for a minute's silence for the victims of last weekend's terror attack in Paris and New Zealand legend Jonah Lomu who passed away earlier in the week.

Baa-Baas left wing Nemani Nadolo also honoured Lomu by taking to the field without wearing a number 11 on his jersey and in a fitting tribute to the departed All Black the big Fijian scored the Barbarians' fourth try in Lomu-esque fashion after a barnstorming run down the left wing.

The Baa-Baas did most of the early attacking and after a sustained period of pressure inside los Pumas' 22, Lima Sopoaga stabbed a grubber kick through which Tevita Kuridrani gathered before crossing for the opening try.

Argentina were soon level, however, when Facundo Isa rounded off after Guido Petti and Ramiro Herrera were bot stopped just short of the line in the build-up.

Los Pumas then took the lead when Santiago Cordero stepped past a couple of players before scoring next to the uprights. The South Americans didn't relent and Moyano's effort had the Twickenham crowd on their feet after the ball went through several pairs of hands in the build-up.

The Barbarians struck back in style when Waisake Naholo gathered a cross-kick from Sopoaga outside Argentina's 22 and beat a couple of defenders before crossing the whitewash. 

Moyano and Santiago González Iglesias then combined brilliantly on the stroke of half-time to put Martín Landajo into space. He then kicked ahead and Cordero beat Naholo in a sprint before diving on to the ball behind the Baa-baas tryline.

The frantic pace of the game continued in the second half with both sides running the ball at every opportunity.

Argentina continued where they left off and by the 55th minute they had the game in the bag at 42-12 after Landajo and Jerónimo De la Fuente had crossed for tries.

To their credit, the Baa-Baas didn't give up and were soon rewarded when Joe Tomane crossed for their third try before Nadolo crossed for his score in the 74th minute.

The last five minutes were full of drama as both sides kept the ball in hand at every opportunity and there was still enough time for Sanchez and Victor Matfield to cross for deserved tries before the final whistle.

The scorers:

For Barbarians:
Tries: Kuridrani, Naholo, Tomane, Nadolo, Matfield
Cons: Nadolo 2, Sopoaga

For Argentina:
Tries: Cordero 2, Isa, Moyano, De la Fuente, Landajo, Sanchez
Cons: Sanchez 6, Boffelli

Barbarians: 15 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Stephen Hoiles, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Lood de Jager, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Thomas du Toit
Replacements from: 16 James Hanson, 17 Jamie Mackintosh, 18 Toby Smith, 19 Bakkies Botha, 20 Jarrad Butler, 21 Cobus Reinach, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 Francois Venter, 24 Joe Tomane

Argentina: 15 Ramiro Moyano, 14 Matías Moroni, 13 Jerónimo De la Fuente, 12 Santiago González Iglesias, 11 Santiago Cordero, 10 Nicolás Sánchez, 9 Martín Landajo (c), 8 Facundo Isa, 7 Javier Ortega Desio, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Matías Alemanno, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Ramiro Herrera, 2 Julián Montoya, 1 Lucas Noguera
Replacements: 16 Santiago Iglesias Valdez, 17 Santiago García Botta, 18 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 19 Tomas Lezana, 20 Leonardo Senatore, 21 Felipe Ezcurra, 22 Gabriel Ascarate, 23 Emiliano Boffelli

Referee: JP Doyle (England)

By David Skippers