The interchangable 8 / 7 Puma combination

Discussion in 'International Test Matches' started by Melhor Time, Aug 23, 2009.

  1. Melhor Time

    Melhor Time Guest

    Players switching from 6 to 7 is nothing new but the way Argentina are approaching their depth of talent at 8 is quite revolutionary and seemingly very effective. The problem Argentina face is that Juan Leguizamon was the best 8 in the Top 14 (France) last season and Juan Fernandez Lobbe was the best 8 in the Guinness Premiership (England). Added to this, Argentina have no world class backrowers in European clubs. Those at European clubs are not stars like these two (Galindo, Campos, Negrillo and Abadie for instance). At the World Cup Fernandez Lobbe was 7 and Leguizamon 8 until Gonzalo Longo was avaliable for the fourth match.

    Now Longo has retired as have fellow World Cup backrowers Ostiglia and Durand while the other (Martin Schusterman) is playing club rugby in Buenos Aires. Without question Argentina will field Fernandez Lobbe at Leguizamon in the backrow come New Zealand 2011. Its interesting that since France 2007 both have started tests at 7 and at 8. Leguizamon has the running game of the best 8's in the world but has a secondary lineout's role. Fernandez Lobbe is a great jumper and very good off the back of the scrum. He is great at the turnover and one of the best defenders of all backrowers in the world. The understanding they have of eachothers strenghts is visible every time Argentina play. Santiago Phelan has been heavily criticised since becoming Argentina's coach but what he has done with Leguizamon and Fernandez Lobbe is highly intelligent. They could very well be the best 7 / 8 combination in the World at the next World Cup.

    The method of using an 8 as a second fullback has long been used by Pumas teams. Longo was outstanding for years. Without him Leguizamon has taken over. In the recent games vs England he did very well here and did so wearing the 7 shirt. Fernandez Lobbe, despite wearing 8 was playing ''7'' defensively. They have a system in place to swap between 7 and 8 during the game. Different roles that look like they will work well for los Pumas. Interestingly Toulon have bought Fernandez Lobbe, who Sale played at 8, to play 7. Leguizamon is SF Paris's 8 with Parisse at 6 and Taylor at 5. This will continue with Haskell and Rabadan fighting to play 7.
     
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  3. uli85

    uli85 Guest

    I was surprised watching Leguizamon playing at flanker and Juan Fernandez Lobbe at 8 in the last tests. But it worked fine and they can switch those positions. Also Genaro Fesia played very well.
    Can i make an off-topic question? Are you from Brazil? And do you support the Pumas?
    You must be the only brazilian who supports Argentina in any way :p
     
  4. Prestwick

    Prestwick Guest

    I do believe that Juan Fernandez Lobbe does get moved around the back row from time to time when he was at Sale. Toulon probably will continue that tradition as the current TOP14 season continues.

    Slightly off topic but as we've got two South Americans here, how remote is the city of Salta in Argentina where Argentina played England earlier this year?

    If it is pretty remote, that is an epic acheivement to pack out a 50,000 stadium like that...
     
  5. Melhor Time

    Melhor Time Guest

    Uli85

    I am not from Brazil but have lived here for 5 years. I have contacts with many here in Brazilian rugby, inc the national coach. I have also been involved with rugby websites. Without question, almost all rugby fans in this country support Argentina. During the World Cup rugby people here all supported los Pumas. People who don't play and only watch some rugby hate Argentina, because of the wendyball (soccer) but everyone involved supports Argentina as the continents world representative.


    Prestwick

    Toulon are using Fernandez Lobbe's talents to their advantage by using him in a versatile capacity. He has been very strong, maybe their best forward. He can only get better as he leanrs to speak French.

    Salta is in the north of Argentina, close to Bolivia. It is a long way from Buenos Aires and other major cities like Cordoba, Mendoza and Rosario. It is relatively close to Tucuman which is a city in which rugby is more popular than soccer. Salta has a population of 400,000 and is Argentina's 8th largest city. The thing about rugby in Argentina is that los Pumas can play anywhere and fill the stadiums.

    Salta is not 40,000 in capacity but rather it is 24,000. Here are highlights of the match.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68LTVdkOsYo

    Argentina vs Scotland in Rosario in 2008 was during the French semi finals so Argentina didn't have Hernandez, Roncero, Ledesma, Scelzo, Albacete, Vernet Basualdo, Alvarez and others yet they won the game and the 42,000 venue was full. Here are highlights of the match:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ApRWd22luoQ

    The thing is that Argentina don't get to host games. They have hosted only 4 tests since the 2007 World Cup. Thats right, only four in two years! Four different cities and three with fullhouses. The one exception was a 50,000 venue in Cordoba for a match vs Italy. Argentina again had to play without half of their best XV. Nevertheless, the crowd was big, over 40,000. Imagine the possibilities if they could field their best players and were involved in a competition to attract more people. Tri Nations being the obvious. Italy actually wonn the game with a dodgy referee giving them a try and Hernandez breaking his hand after 18 minutes. Anyhow, here are some highlights of the game.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RwQj1yOcON8...feature=related

    In 2010 Argentina will host Scotland twice and France once or twice, hopefully twice. Four different venues will be used and they will be full. Mar del Plata (48,000), Santa Fe (32,000) and Mendoza (35,000) all wanted to host the match vs England in Salta but Argentina decided to play in Salta to show top rugby in more parts of the country. These three venues + Buenos Aires are all strong contenders to host Scotland and France next year.

    In 2000 Argentina hosted South Africa at River Plate Stadium, Buenos Aires and got a fullhouse of 70,000. They repeated this in 2001 vs New Zealand. This was, of course, before Argentina's amazing performances in the 2007 World Cup. Since then the profile has boomed. The sports profile is huge.
     
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