Argentina end losing streak whilst extending Italy's miserable run
Argentina ended a seven-match losing run after accounting for Italy 37-16 in a willing contest on Saturday.
A drought extended by coming up just short to France in Paris last weekend had the Pumas keen to disregard flashy thoughts and execute the basics. They did, and were rewarded with five mainly workmanlike tries to one.
Italy was full of intent but a developing side with only 224 caps (Argentina had 617) struggled with accuracy and fluidity and was too often its own enemy: It committed 20 turnovers.
And yet, it was in the match for more than 50 minutes at 24-16 down, with cries of “I-ta-li-a” ringing around Stadio Comunale di Monigo, until Argentina set itself, held possession and caught Italy short out right for an untouched Santiago Cordero to make it a relieving 29-16.
Into the last quarter, the Pumas stole a third lineout before adding a penalty by replacement flyhalf Nicolas Sanchez, and finished their eighth straight win against Italy with a rolling maul try by replacement hooker Facundo Bosch, seconds after he’d knocked on over the line from another rolling maul.
Italy lost for a 16th straight time since the 2019 Rugby World Cup, with Uruguay up next.
The way Argentina started, it looked like it would be a rout. They kicked out of their half, captain Julian Montoya bossed the breakdowns, and they were up 17-0 after 28 minutes.
Boffelli also converted a try by flanker Juan Martin Gonzalez. Italy flyhalf Paolo Garbisi knocked on, the Pumas countered, Jeronimo de la Fuente grubbered and Gonzalez toed on the ball which conveniently sat up for him on the try line.
A couple of Garbisi penalties had Italy trailing 17-6 at the break, then 24-6 quickly after following Argentina’s best-looking try.
Italy was 24-6 down, but in a rare period when passes stuck, it produced a try from a quick tap penalty when scrumhalf Stephen Varney scored off a ruck. Garbisi added the extras and a penalty and, though tighthead prop Marco Riccioni was carried off with a knee injury, Italy and its fans were feeling hopeful again.
Cordero ended that hope four minutes later.
Pens: Garbisi 3
Tries: Kremer, Gonzalez, Moroni, Cordero, Bosch
Cons: Boffelli 3
Pens: Boffelli, Sanchez
Italy: 15 Matteo Minozzi, 14 Edoardo Padovani, 13 Juan Ignacio Brex, 12 Luca Morisi, 11 Montanna Ioane, 10 Paolo Garbisi, 9 Stephen Varney, 8 Giovanni Licata, 7 Michele Lamaro (captain), 6 Sebastian Negri, 5 David Sisi, 4 Niccolo Cannone, 3 Marco Riccioni, 2 Gianmarco Lucchesi, 1 Ivan Nemer.
Replacements: 16 Luca Bigi, 17 Danilo Fischetti, 18 Pietro Ceccarelli, 19 Marco Fuser, 20 Federico Ruzza, 21 Giovanni Pettinelli, 22 Alessandro Fusco, 23 Federico Mori.
Argentina: 15 Emiliano Boffelli, 14 Santiago Cordero, 13 Matias Moroni, 12 Jeronimo de la Fuente, 11 Mateo Carreras, 10 Santiago Carreras, 9 Tomas Cubelli, 8 Facundo Isa, 7 Juan Martin Gonzalez, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Tomas Lavanini, 4 Marcos Kremer, 3 Francisco Gomez Kodela, 2 Julian Montoya (captain), 1 Thomas Gallo.
Replacements: 16 Facundo Bosch, 17 Ignacio Calles, 18 Santiago Medrano, 19 Lucas Paulos, 20 Santiago Grondona, 21 Gonzalo Bertranou, 22 Nicolas Sanchez, 23 Lucio Cinti.
Referee: James Doleman (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Paul Williams (New Zealand), Ben Blain (Scotland)
TMO: Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)
Join RugbyPass+ now and be apart of the conversation with all-new commenting!Join Now