Pampas claim Pacific Cup
Sun, 23 Mar 2014 11:39
Argentina Pampas won the IRB Pacific Rugby Cup by beating Queensland Reds A 36-21 in the final.
Captain Martin Landajao was very satisfied with his team’s performance.
“I think we had a great first half, we faded in the second but we were able to finish strongly and get the win over Queensland.
“I thought the Reds A played really well and it was a great final. The tournament has been good for us.
“Having played in South Africa this tournament has been very different. The South Africans play a very different style of rugby so it has been great for our development to play against the Australian and Pacific sides.”
The match started with Argentina camped in the Reds A half and dominated Queensland in the early stages of the match, with the Reds unable to clear their half for several minutes.
A great counter run by Reds inside centre Sam Johnson got Queensland out of danger and allowed them to relieve the pressure after several minutes of the Pampas being allowed to attack within the Reds defensive 22.
The first stanza belonged to the Pampas with two quick tries from Pampas taking the score 0-12 with the Reds looking shaken by the pace of the match.
As the first half progressed the Queenslanders were able to find their consistency, working themselves back into the match with some fast feet and great attacking play.
A penalty to the Reds for hands in the ruck allowed Queensland kicker, Sam Johnson to bring the score to 3-12.
Pampas countered through fullback, Roman Miralles and scored in the corner moments later. The score advanced to 3-17 with the South Americans brimming with confidence as they played with a quick, free flowing style.
Queensland refused to give up and refocused their game, targeting Argentina through the inside channel.
The Reds forwards were able to create momentum for the backs with Luke Beauchamp hammering the Argentinian defence with some powerful runs.
Reds A were rewarded for their toil with a blindside try coming from Nigel Genia and the score went to 8-17 as the conversion sailed to the right of the posts.
The Queensland side continued their attack in the dying stages of the first half and were rewarded with a penalty on the cusp of half time which Sam Johnson converted comfortably to make the score 11-17 at the break.
The Reds came out firing in the second half and it did not take long for Queensland to break through the Argentine defence with winger Versea Mataitini scoring right beneath the posts.
From this Queensland took the lead for the first time in the match with the score at 18-17.
The second half became a see-saw battle as both teams attempted to break the hold over each other until a try from Pampas reserve Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias took the score to 21-22, as the South Americans wrestled back the lead.
With only moments remaining Queensland desperately looked for a way through the Pampas defence to find an opportunity to score. A missed timed handling error cost Queensland possession and allowed Argentinian scrumhalf and captain, Martin Landajo to break through the tiring Queensland defence to score.
The kick was successful and the score stretched out to 21-31.
Argentina continued their attacking raids on the Australian side and scored after the siren to take the score to 21-36.
The scenes at TG Milner Field in Sydney erupted into to jubilation for Argentina Pampas and their fans as they celebrated not only the grand final victory but a successful IRB Pacific Rugby Cup tournament.
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