Sanchez The Key For Pumas

13 Sep 2018
Sanchez The Key For Pumas

Few players have done more for the game of rugby in Argentina than Nicolas Sanchez; his enormous stature in the sport was highlighted last week when he broke Felipe Contepomi’s all-time points scoring record for the Pumas. Sanchez however has always put the team ahead of his own personal triumphs and will look to inspire his side to a record that not even Contepomi and his troops could manage: a win against the Wallabies on Australian soil.

Australia have won 13 consecutive Tests against Argentina on home turf, having not lost against them in Australia since the Argentines visited for the first time in 1983. However, the Pumas have never lost by more than seven points at Robina Stadium, and with Sanchez in form, Argentina will believe they can cause an upset.

Looking at Sanchez’s record against this Rugby Championship opponent, his point-scoring consistency against Australia bodes well for the Pumas’ chances. Sanchez averages nine points per game against Australia, while two goals on the Gold Coast this weekend will see the Wallabies draw level with New Zealand (36) for opponents that Sanchez has scored the most goals against. Despite Argentina’s torrid run against Australia, losing their last six on the bounce, Sanchez has proven to be a reliable weapon with the boot when facing the Wallabies.

The dynamic five-eighth has scored at least 10 points in his four most recent encounters with Australia, all his points coming from the kicking tee. In fact, Sanchez has never crossed the stripe himself against Australia. But his point-scoring form against Australia is undeniable; his current streak of 10+ points in each of his last four games against the Wallabies is his current best streak against any Tier 1 nation in world rugby. As the Rugby Championship’s leading goal-kicker this season, Sanchez is likely to continue his impervious form against Australia.

While it is almost impossible to compare this Argentine squad to those that have squared off in Australia in the past, Nicolas Sanchez’s accurate boot and recent try-scoring form is a boost for the current Pumas side for this upcoming clash. Sanchez has scored 10 tries in 68 Test caps but has scored a try in all three games of The Rugby Championship so far, his best try-scoring streak (3) of his career. This has undoubtedly increased the star playmaker’s confidence in his own running game, which will be crucial on Saturday. If Sanchez can take the line on and break his try-scoring drought against the Wallabies on Saturday, it will go a long way towards Argentina upsetting the Aussies and claiming a historic victory.

Pumas team to Play Australia

1. Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro
2. Agustin Creevy - captain
3. Santiago Medrano
4. Guido Petti
5. Tomas Lavanini
6. Pablo Matera
7. Marcos Kremer
8. Javier Ortega Desio
9. Gonzalo Bertranou
10. Nicolas Sanches
11. Ramiro Moyano
12. Jeronimo de la Fuente
13. Matias Moroni
14. Bautista Delguy
15. Emiliano Boffelli

16. Julian Montoya
17. Santiago Garcia Botta
18. Juan Pablo Zeiss
19. Matias Alemanno
20. Juan Manuel Leguizamon
21. Martin Landajo
22. Bautista Ezcurra
23. Juan Cruz Mallia