The Pumas, the magical try that everyone talks about and the praise of a teacher to Felipe Contepomi

The Pumas, the magical try that everyone talks about and the praise of a teacher to Felipe Contepomi

Englishman Stuart Lancaster is a professional rugby teacher and coach. He led an excellent stage for his country’s team, but had to leave when he was eliminated at home in the first round of the 2015 World Cup. The following year he went on to command the Irish Leinster staff and in the next season he will move to Racing de Paris. In Monday’s meeting to analyze Leinster’s 35-5 victory over Scarlets, among some videos he showed his players the try that Emiliano Boffelli had scored the day before in the victory of the Pumas against de la Rosa, at Twickenham . “You must have seen this play before,” he told them, smiling.

The episode is recounted in a wide-ranging interview with Lancaster that the English newspaper The Telegraph published on Tuesday. There, the Englishman highlights: “Michael Cheika has done a great job, but I think that people still haven’t fully understood that Felipe Contepomi has entered there. I spent four years working with Felipe in Leinster. He is an exceptional coach and there is no doubt that Argentina are a serious force to be reckoned with.” That try, perhaps one of the best that the Pumas have made in recent times, has, at first glance, the stamp of Cheika, who trained Contepomi in another glorious era of the Dublin team. But the truth is that the selected team trained her all week under the command of Contepomi, because Cheika was leading Lebanon in the Rugby League World Cup. He only joined the Argentine squad the day before the test with the English.

I was at Twickenham on Sunday and witnessed English journalists in the press room watching in awe as the try was replayed over and over again. Captain Julián Montoya told me: “The play has no name. El Negro asks for it (by Santiago Carreras). And it turned out perfect.” While here in London criticism of Eddie Jones and Owen Farrell falls, that try of “King Boff”, as they call it in Scotland, is still present in the newspapers and on TV, although with a hint of arrogance the English focus more in the mistakes of the world runner-up than in the Argentine successes.

Another detail that may be interesting to graph the process that the Pumas are going through since the new staff took over. At the captain’s run on Saturday at Twickenham, I asked Boffelli if they were emphasizing the lack of concentration and indiscipline they fell into at key moments in the matches: “We worked on it all week. I think the problem is that we think about the result and we leave the game. Then come the distractions and, with it, the penalties. But we are here to improve that aspect.” Against England, while it wasn’t optimal, that facet of the game was noticeably improved.

Montoya isn’t bragging about Sunday’s victory. He enjoys it more when he says: “Except Felipe and Corcho (by Juan Fernández Lobbe), no Argentine from this squad had beaten England at Twickenham. That does have a special flavor.” The captain knows that until the World Cup everything is step by step. And what is still missing: “In defense, in the scrum, on the line, in some penalties that we should not commit. There is a lot to improve.” The Pumas give good signs.

King Boff’s try at Twickenham

As with back-to-back wins against the Wallabies and All Blacks in the Rugby Championship, it would be a big step to repeat that rush in Europe. In this transit in which the Pumas are following the signs that lead to reaching the maximum point in the World Cup, beating Wales in Cardiff would mean another milestone of confidence for an increasingly mature team. For that Argentine national team whom Lancaster – a rugby master – qualifies as “a serious force to be reckoned with”.

Melissa Galbraith
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.