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Argentina ‘praying’ for injured SVNS star Marcos Moneta, miss quarter-finals

By Finn Morton
Marcos Moneta of Argentina waits to score a try during the 2024 Perth SVNS men's quarter final match between Spain and Argentina at HBF Park on January 27, 2024 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Will Russell/Getty Images)

Men’s SVNS Series leaders Argentina have failed to make the Hong Kong Sevens Cup quarter-finals after superstar Marcos Moneta picked up a devastating injury at the spiritual home of rugby’s shorter format.

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Moneta, who was nominated for World Rugby’s Sevens Player of the Year in 2023, suffered the injury during Los Pumas Sevens’ surprise defeat to Perry Baker’s USA on day one at the world-famous Hong Kong Stadium.

Argentina seemed to feel the absence of their injured try-scoring machine during their second pool clash. The Series front-runners were on the wrong end of a cricket-esque sevens score as they went down 22-nil to an improved All Blacks Sevens outfit.

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Finn Morton spoke with Argentina’s Tobias Wade about the injury to Marcos Moneta. (Photo by Gaspafotos/MB Media/Getty Images)

Tobias Wade kicked a penalty goal in golden point to hand Argentina their first win of the tournament, but that victory wasn’t enough to book their place in the next stage. Argentina needed other results to go their way and they didn’t.

Australia didn’t come close to the 30+ point defeat to Canada which would’ve seen Argentina go through, and Fiji secured their spot in the quarters with a hard-fought 14-7 win over an Antoine Dupont-less France side.

“We had a bad day yesterday. We tried to put the focus on today, to win (against) GB,” Tobias Wade told RugbyPass.

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“If we don’t pass to the quarter-finals we have to try to move on to try and prepare for the next game. We’ll try to focus on our next chapter.

“Of course I was nervous. Maybe No. 10s have to be prepared for those moments,” he added when asked about the penalty goal. “I truly believe in myself so I tried to put the focus on that, that I was prepared to kick it and kick it well.”

Argentina claimed silver in the opening event of the season in Dubai before going on to win three consecutive gold medals. But after a shock quarter-final elimination in Los Angeles, it’s gotten worse as they’ve officially failed to make it out of the group.

Without Marcos Moneta, who has proven himself to be one of the best players on the SVNS Series, Argentina haven’t looked as threatening. That speaks volumes about the type of player that Moneta is within this Los Pumas Sevens side.

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With the injured Moneta set to fly back to Argentina during the Hong Kong Sevens weekend, his teammates will be “praying” for a speedy recovery.

“Marcos is an enormous player but also a great, great person. He’s very important to us, to the group. He’s always with a smile, trying to get good energy,” Wade explained.

“We miss him but I think that today or maybe tomorrow he’s going back to Argentina to do some studies on how the injury moves on.

“We are praying… we will miss him but I believe that he will be back much, much stronger. We know Marcos is a great player so we all believe that there will be a good tomorrow.”

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Jon 1 days ago
Why Sam Cane's path to retirement is perfect for him and the All Blacks

> It would be best described as an elegant solution to what was potentially going to be a significant problem for new All Blacks coach Scott Robertson. It is a problem the mad population of New Zealand will have to cope with more and more as All Blacks are able to continue their careers in NZ post RWCs. It will not be a problem for coaches, who are always going to start a campaign with the captain for the next WC in mind. > Cane, despite his warrior spirit, his undoubted commitment to every team he played for and unforgettable heroics against Ireland in last year’s World Cup quarter-final, was never unanimously admired or respected within New Zealand while he was in the role. Neither was McCaw, he was considered far too passive a captain and then out of form until his last world cup where everyone opinions changed, just like they would have if Cane had won the WC. > It was never easy to see where Cane, or even if, he would fit into Robertson’s squad given the new coach will want to be building a new-look team with 2027 in mind. > Cane will win his selections on merit and come the end of the year, he’ll sign off, he hopes, with 100 caps and maybe even, at last, universal public appreciation for what was a special career. No, he won’t. Those returning from Japan have already earned the right to retain their jersey, it’s in their contract. Cane would have been playing against England if he was ready, and found it very hard to keep his place. Perform, and they keep it however. Very easy to see where Cane could have fit, very hard to see how he could have accomplished it choosing this year as his sabbatical instead of 2025, and that’s how it played out (though I assume we now know what when NZR said they were allowing him to move his sabbatical forward and return to NZ next year, they had actually agreed to simply select him for the All Blacks from overseas, without any chance he was going to play in NZ again). With a mammoth season of 15 All Black games they might as well get some value out of his years contract, though even with him being of equal character to Richie, I don’t think they should guarantee him his 100 caps. That’s not what the All Blacks should be about. He absolutely has to play winning football.

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