Sportal.co.nz - (28/09/2012)
Argentina have made an impact in the inaugural Rugby Championship but
will face one of their toughest Tests against an All Blacks side looking
to seal the title in La Plata on Sunday (NZT)
VENUE & TIME: Estadio Cuidad de La Plata, La Plata, 12.00 (NZT), 18.10
HEAD TO HEAD: Played 15, New Zealand 14, Argentina 0, Draws 1
LAST TIME: September 8, 2012 (Wellington) – New Zealand 33-10 Argentina.
WALKING WOUNDED: New
Zealand have welcomed first five-eighths Dan Carter back from injury
after he missed the last two Tests with a calf strain. Argentina have
been able to keep the side that went so close to beating Australia
FORM: New Zealand faced a tough Test
in overcoming South Africa in Dunedin and were unable to unleash the
quality of game they were looking for. Having had a taste of the
Argentine style in their first round clash New Zealand know what to
expect. Carter's return could be significant by virtue of the experience
he adds to the side. Argentina came close again to recording their
first win, against Australia, but were undone in the last stages of the
game. They have developed significantly during the competition and
remain a significant threat to New Zealand.
WHO'S HOT: Fullback
Israel Dagg has shown glimpses of his best form throughout the season
and if able to put that into a full game then the Argentine defences
will be well and truly put to the test. Centre Conrad Smith has wasted
no time getting back to his best level and his form with more time in
the middle will be interesting in this Test. No.8 Kieran Read has not
been quite as influential as in the Ireland campaign but can be expected
to provide great support for the n on-stop performer in skipper Richie
McCaw. Argentine centre Marcelo Bosch has been a hard-running
contributor for his side and if he can get fullback Lucas Gonzalez
Amorosino into the action on the outside there could be some fireworks
for the home team. Juan Martin Hernandez may have had a quiet showing in
Wellington but every game back sees him improve and in the heady home
atmosphere he could be well capable of lifting. And in the pack few
offer more to his side than porp Rodrigo Roncero. He had a big game in
Wellington and with the likes of lock Julio Faras Cabello he offers
genuine threats for New Zealand.
WE THINK: For many
of the All Blacks a new experience awaits them in front of passionate
Argentinian fans. Coping with that support will be a factor in the
side's performance. However, the knowledge of what to expect from the
home side, as a result of their Wellington contest, will be a
significant boost for the All Blacks game plan. In drier conditions the
ability to break down the rugged Argentine defences should aid the
visitors and the time the side has spent together should be a key
element in the Rugby Championship being sewn up for New Zealand. The All
Blacks by 10 points.
Roncero, 2. Eusebio Guinazu, 3.Juan Figallo, 4.Manuel Carizza,
5.Patricio Albacete, 6.Julio Farias Cabello, 7.Juan Manuel Leguizamon,
8.Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe (captain), 9.Martin Landajo, 10.Juan
Martin Hernandez, 11.Horacio Agulla, 12.Santiago Fernandez, 13.Marcelo
Bosch, 14. Gonzalo Camacho, 15.Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino.
16.Agustin Creevy, 17.Marcos Ayerza, 18.Tomas Vallejos, 19.Tomas
Leonardi, 20.Nicolas Vergallo, 21.Martin Rodriguez, 22.Juan Imhoff.
New Zealand: 1.Tony
Woodcock, 2.Andrew Hore, 3.Owen Franks, 4.Luke Romano, 5.Samuel
Whitelock, 6.Liam Messam, 7.Richie McCaw, 8.Kieran Read, 9.Aaron Smith,
10.Daniel Carter, 11.Julian Savea, 12.Ma'a Nonu, 13.Conrad Smith,
14.Cory Jane, 15.Israel Dagg.
Reserves: 16.Keven Mealamu, 17.Charlie Faumuina, 18.Brodie Retallick, 19.Sam Cane, 20.Piri Weepu, 21.Aaron Cruden, 22.Ben Smith.
REFEREE: Jaco Peyper