POOL B – ARGENTINA vs ROMANIA
Rugby Park, Invercargill, Saturday 17th Sep 3:30pm (NZT)
Head-to-head: Played 7, Argentina 7, Romania 0
Last meeting: Argentina 50 beat Romania 3 in Sydney (Pool stage 2003)
Last meeting at a World Cup: Argentina 50 beat Romania 3 in Sydney (Pool stage 2003)
Team news: Argentina have lost centre Gonzalo Tiesi for the rest of the World Cup following his knee injury suffered against England. Captain Felipe Contepomi will also sit out the match with a rib injury with Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe taking over the captaincy. Lucas Gonzalez, Martin Rodriguez and Santiago Fernandez come into the side. Romania have made only small changes to the side that came close to Scotland. Constantin Gheara comes in at inside center and Florin Surugiu at halfback.
Form: Argentina will be hoping to get their World Cup back on track after a heartbreaking loss to England in their opening match. The Argentines showed signs that they could repeat their efforts of 2007, and more accurate kicking would have won them the game. Romania looked to be out of their depth from the opening kickoff against Scotland, but fought back to take the lead in what would have been a massive upset. Unfortunately for the Tall Oaks, Scotland had that little bit extra in the tank and scored two late tries. If they can repeat that performance against Argentina they will give themselves a chance of getting over the line.
Prediction: Romania pushed the Scot’s all the way and showed they can match the big boys. The strong Romanian pack got the rolling maul going and its something that Argentina will have to watch for. Both sides play a similar type of football, but Argentina have a bit more class in the backs. Expect some big hits from two sides who play with great pride and passion for their nation. A win to Argentina is expected, but they may not run away with it like they did at the 2003 World Cup.
Argentina by 25
Argentina: 15 Lucas Gonzalez, 14 Gonzalo Camacho, 13 Martin Rodriguez, 12 Marcelo Bosch, 11 Horacio Agulla, 10 Santiago Fernandez, 9 Nicolas Vergallo, 8 Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe, 7 Juan Manuel Leguizamon, 6 Julio Farias Cabello, 5 Patricio Albacete, 4 Manuel Carizza, 3 Juan Figallo, 2 Mario Ledesma, 1 Rodrigo Roncero.
Replacements: 16 Agustin Creevy, 17 Martin Scelzo, 18 Mariano Galarza, 19 Alejandro Campos, 20 Alfredo Lalanne, 21 Nicolas Sanchez, 22 Juan Jose Imhoff.
Romania: 15 Iulian Dumitras, 14 Madalin Lemnaru, 13 Csaba Gal, 12 Constantin Gheara, 11 Ionel Cazan, 10 Tiberius Dimofte, 9 Florin Surugiu, 8 Daniel Carpo, 7 Ovidiu Tonita, 6 Mihai Macovei, 5 Cristian Petre, 4 Valentin Ursache, 3 Paulica Ion, 2 Marius Tincu (c), 1 Mihaita Lazar.
Replacements: 16 Bogdan Suman, 17 Silviu Florea, 18 Valentin Poparlan, 19 Daniel Ianus, 20 Valentin Calafeteanu, 21 Marin Dumbrava, 22 Florin Vlaicu
By Alex Barlow-Smith