Argentina to go all out against Boks with their ‘bajada’ technique

2012-08-16 00:00

CAPE TOWN — The selection of three props in their front row to tackle the Springboks suggests that Argentina are going to do their level best to retain a proud tradition for strong scrummaging in the Rugby Championship opener at Newlands on Saturday.

Their “bajada” technique, in which everyone in the pack focuses the power effort on the hooker, is the stuff of legend, although in more recent years they have arguably been less effective at this particular set piece.

But the inclusion of the 30-year-old Eusebio Guinazu at hooker against the Boks seems to be a signal that they fancy a genuine crack at the host nation at scrum time.

Argentina’s props for their keenly awaited debut in this expanded competition are the expected ones: Rodrigo Roncero at loosehead and the younger Juan Figallo at No. 3.

Roncero is also no spring chicken at 35, and he earns his 50th cap against the Boks in this Test.

The Stade Francais stalwart also finds himself in the rare position, as a qualified doctor, of going head-to-head with another physician, Bok tighthead Jannie du Plessis.

Meanwhile, another member of the all-Sharks Bok front row, Beast Mtawarira, must steel himself for the challenge of 24-year-old Figallo, the Montpellier-based scrumming anchor who was widely lauded at the 2011 World Cup, where the Pumas were quarter-finalists, as one of the best tightheads at the tournament.

Roncero and Figallo were the starting props when Argentina bravely bowed out to eventual champions New Zealand at the last-eight stage at RWC 2011, beaten 33-10, although it was much closer than that for at least an hour.

New Bok number eight Keegan Daniel will be up against the Pumas’ captain, Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe, their most capped forward behind Roncero with 43 appearances already to his name.

The talented Juan Martin Hernandez, who spent time with the Sharks until suffering a back injury, is at flyhalf for Argentina.

Kick-off is at 5 pm, with Australian referee Steve Walsh handling the game.

ARGENTINA SQUAD

15 Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino, 14 Gonzalo Camacho, 13 Marcelo Bosch, 12 Santiago Fernandez, 11 Horacio Agulla; 10 Juan Martin Hernandez, 9 Nicolas Vergallo, 8 Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe (captain), 7 Alvaro Galindo, 6 Julio Farias Cabello, 5 Patricio Albacete, 4 Manuel Carizza, 3 Juan Figallo, 2 Eusebio Guinazu, 1 Rodrigo Roncero Replacements: 16 Bruno Postiglioni, 17 Marcos Ayerza, 18 Juan Pablo Orlandi, 19 Tomas Leonardi, 20 Leonardo Senatore, 21 Martin Landajo, 22 Martin Rodriguez.

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