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Los Pumas player ratings vs Wallabies | 2023 Rugby Championship

By Frankie Deges
The Pumas celebrate victory with The Puma Trophy following The Rugby Championship match between the Australia Wallabies and Argentina at CommBank Stadium on July 15, 2023 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)

Los Pumas certainly enjoy playing in Parramatta, beating the All Blacks in 2020 and remaining unbeaten against the Wallabies after a draw that year and a deserved 34-31 win on Saturday to close the second round in the 2023 Rugby Championship.

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This was Argentina’s third away win against Australia, after much-celebrated wins in 1983 and 2018. Michael Cheika’s Pumas took their chances even if they had to come back in the 79th minute to secure the win. The win is a testament of a renewed hunger after a gritless loss against New Zealand in the opening round of the Rugby Championship.

They needed to recover from what might have been a match-winning try by Mark Nawaqanitawase in the 75th minute, but they did so strongly with a forward’s try that was scored by converted number eight Juan Martín González.

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Bragging rights at the Coogee Oval will go to the former Randwick number eight who has gone two from two in the last encounters against an Eddie Jones’ coached side, having beaten England last November.

Player ratings

15. Emiliano Boffelli – 6.5 Hit the posts with the first kick and after that, converted the following six for a fourteen-point contribution. Injured his shoulder early on and it took him a few minutes to get back into the game. As always, dependable at fullback or wing, where he finished the game.

14. Rodrigo Isgró – 7 Was this the seven’s star first cap? It didn’t show. Chased kick-offs – won the second one -, competed well throughout, was hungry in looking for work. He came an inch short of scoring his first test try which would have crowned a stellar debut. Found out of his defensive position which led to a missed tackle on Koroibete that ended in Samu Kerevi’s try. Understandable as this was his first XV’s game since 2019. His sevens days might be fast coming to an end.

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13. Lucio Cinti – 6 Broke the Wallaby defence in the first minute. Good footwork and played much better at centre than at second-five last week. He is still a winger but gives Michael Cheika more options in the backs. Stopped a certain Aussie try with last gasp tackle on Gordon around the half-hour mark. Is coming of age in the team.

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12. Jerónimo de la Fuente – 6 Scored the team’s first try after a number of phases, crashing over and showing his mental strength. Did not shine on his return to the team but seldom put a foot out of place. His experience showed as he was instrumental in organizing Los Pumas’ defence.

11. Mateo Carreras – 6.5 Always a dangerous player in attack and defence but a quieter game than a week ago. His third test try confirms he has done enough in two Rugby Championship games to book his ticket to France. As in last week, it is not about size, it is about what you do with it.

10. Santiago Carreras – 5.5 Miss read many opportunities, choosing to kick when he should have passed, or with loose passes. Beautiful runner but not the complete first five. When Nicolás Sánchez came on in the final minutes, moved to fullback which should be where he plays his test rugby.

9. Gonzalo Bertranou – 4.5 Quick to the ball but mostly a distributor. Defences already know that he is unlikely to take another option than pass or kick. Sweet pass for de la Fuente’s try. He needs to be more of a threat around the fringes.

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8. Juan Martín González – 6.5 Not comfortable as number eight, as it is clear he was a flanker in that position. If he is to stay there, he needs more time and a more solid scrum. He took his chance in the last minute to score the winning try. Only 22.

7. Santiago Grondona – 7 This test was the coming of age of the flanker. Did small things very well but was glued to the side of the scrum in Nick White’s try. Other than that, he was the team’s best forward.

6. Pablo Matera – 6 Always great for close-ups after turnovers. He was not his industrious best, but still a presence opponents always need to worry about. Gave away an unnecessary penalty on Nick White that eventually became seven points, but grew in the final minutes as a leader, charging against the Aussie defence constantly.

5. Tomás Lavanini – 5.5 First penalty was unnecessary, gave Australia the chance to exit their field leading to the first try in the fifth minute. He worked hard, as always, but needs to impose himself more on the loose.

4. Matías Alemanno – 6.5 The less you see of him, the harder work he has done. Read a defensive maul that was heading to a certain try four minutes from the break but right on the start of the second half took a heavy hit to the right knee. Fingers crossed it was only a knock with Rugby World Cup fast approaching.

3. Francisco Gómez Kodela – 5 His return to the team showed him needing to fight hard on his side of the scrum and competing well in rucks and mauls. Never shines but certainly works hard.

2. Julián Montoya – 6.5 One of the English Premiership’s top scorers, he scored his team’s second try and as always, led from the front. More visible than a week ago in Mendoza, his lineout accuracy was 100% which always gave his side a good attacking option. Players respond to his quiet leadership.

1. Thomas Gallo – 5 When in the scrum you have to put up with Alan Alaalatoa and Will Skelton on your side it is always going to be a hard night at the office. Had few opportunities on the loose, which is what he is known for. But never broken.

Reserves

16. Agustín Creevy – 99 tests-not out for the former captain that is the ideal replacement for captain Montoya. In his seven minutes, he came on with the team winning, saw the lead disappear and had to fight back in the final minutes leading from the front. Was involved in at least three rucks that lead to the winning try.

17. Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro – A 13-minute return to the team brought a much-celebrated win. Not an impact player per se, but a solid, experienced performer you need to have in a close game.

18. Eduardo Bello – 5 Thirty minutes for the prop that is fighting for RWC survival. He will need more opportunities to secure his ticket to France.

19. Lucas Paulos – 6 Coming on a couple of minutes after the break, he worked hard, chasing, tackling, mauling. Made his presence felt and he ensure Alemanno was not really missed.

20. Rodrigo Bruni – The best forward a week ago, his ten minutes were not enough to make him visible. Yet, the game was eventually won by the forwards hard work in those final seconds.

22. Nicolás Sánchez – His seven-minute cameo could have been remembered for giving away the test win. His pass from the back of a ruck was read like a book by Mark Nawaqanitawase to run 90 metres for the try. Little more for the 98-capped flyhalf.

23. Matías Moroni – 6 He come on strongly for his 35 minutes of action and took over the role of de la Fuente in marshalling the defence and mentoring Cinti.

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Comments

2 Comments
W
Willie 368 days ago

If I had not watched the game, those ratings would indicate a loss.
If it wasn't for a lucky intercept the game would not have been close.
Time for the Rugby Championship to include Japan, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa and have promotion/relegation. Then Eddie could go and work in JB HiFi [or whatever outfit sells headsets.]

A
Alexander 368 days ago

With those ratings must have been a crap game

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Turlough 4 hours ago
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