Argentina’s rugby team is pretty toothless and so far one of the disappointments at this year’s Rugby World Cup in France.
The Cougars achieved a 19-10 victory over Samoa in Group D on Friday evening in the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard in Saint-Etienne, but did not convince.
Where was the passion of Cougar teams of yesteryear? Where was the good support between front and back players and cruising at the back?
Where were the energetic Cougars who first trumped the All Blacks (2020 and 2022) and Springboks (2016 and in 2018)? Where were the Cougars who followed it up with wins over Australia and England?
Yes, the rainy conditions put a damper on Friday night’s game, because neither team could adapt to it.
What is troubling is that in their opening match against England on a dry pitch, the Cougars, who had to cope with just 14 players for almost the entire match after Tom Curry was sent off early, were also unable to rise to the occasion.
The Cougars had enough chance in this year’s Rugby Championship to iron out all their problems, but so far there has not been much to write home about.
Due to the Cougars’ struggles, England (9 points) comfortably lead Group D, followed by Samoa and Japan (both 5 points) with Argentina (4) and Chile scoreless.
The table was set for the Cougars on Friday to sweep Samoa, an island that has only 175,000 inhabitants and consists of 120 clubs with 5,000 rugby players, out of the way.
In addition, Samoa’s full-back, Ducan Paia-aua, was punished with a yellow card after only 28 seconds after he lifted the feet of the Pumas’ flyhalf, Santagio Carreras, after a high kick under him.
The Cougars’ right winger, Emiliano Boffelli, who scored 16 points, scored the Cougars’ only three in this period, but just like against England, the Cougars could not build on it.
The Cougars still have to play against Chile and Japan – on September 30 and October 8 respectively – and should win both games.
This will see them through to the quarter-finals where they will play against one of the leading teams in Group C, namely Wales, Australia or Fiji.
Play the Cougars like they did against England or Samoa, they go home.
But maybe the coach, Michael Cheika, surprises us all.
Argentina 19 (13):
Three: Emiliano Boffelli. Goal kick: Boffelli. Penalty goals: Boffelli (3), Nicolás Sánchez.
Samoa 10 (3):
Three: Sama Malolo. Goal kick: D’Angelo Leuila. Penalty: Christian Leili’ifano.