Rugby World Cup 2007
Argentina too strong for Namibia
September 22, 2007
Felipe Contepomi scores the Pumas' fourth try against Namibia
© Getty Images
Argentina edged nearer to the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals with a 63-3 bonus point victory over Nambia in their Pool D clash in Marseille. Argentina laid out an impressive marker ahead of their crucial World Cup Pool D meeting with Eddie O'Sullivan's Ireland on Sunday with a nine-try showing against minnows Namibia.
The Pumas, who will pose the Irish a stiff test as they look to bounce back from their 25-3 defeat to hosts France and edge the South Americans out of the knockout stages, brushed aside their counterparts as twin brothers Felipe and Manuel Contepomi provided the foundations for victory.
The talented brothers dominated the first half before a flurry of touch downs, including two for Juan Manuel Leguizamon, saw them run out comfortable winners. Felipe Contepomi dictated the early passages of play with his clever tactical kicking but it was Namibia who were first on the scoreboard.
Argentina were penalised for an indiscretion on their own 22 after seven minutes' play and Morne Schreuder slotted over with ease. But just three minutes later the scores were level after Contepomi kicked a penalty of his own from in front of the posts.
The ball was finding its way to the fly-half with regularity and he started to determine the pace. He soon found the ball in the loose and surged for the line. It looked like a try on first glance but when the decision was referred to the video referee he was adjudged to have lost control of the ball before it was grounded.
A second penalty made it 6-3 after 20 minutes but the real breakthrough came when the Argentina pack powered over the line for the first try, with Patricio Albacete and Rodrigo Roncero in attendance. The forward finished well on the end of a disciplined attacking play and Contepomi's conversion extended his side's lead to 10 points.
Manuel Contepomi erred slightly during Argentina's next break, making a good run but holding on a fraction too long with an overlap forming outside him. Leguizamon scored a second try after 34 minutes, collecting the ball at the back of a powerful Argentina scrum and darting inside to breach the Namibian defence.
The Africans were caught cold two minutes before the interval when Argentina produced some fast ball on the left flank before releasing Manuel Contepomi, who scored with a fine diving finish which Felipe converted. Both sides had good early position after the restart, with Namibia providing some stout defence and setting up an early ruck on the right.
A lineout five metres out gave Alberto Vernet Basualdo the chance to set up another try with his throw and he duly obliged. Unsurprisingly it was a Contepomi on the end of it, Felipe this time cutting inside in midfield before converting his own try. A second score in the space of five minutes was narrowly averted when the referee called play back as Horacio Agulla crossed but it took just 90 seconds for Leguizamon to make amends, powering over the line for his second, and his side's fifth, touch down.
Felipe Contepomi's handling let him down as they sought a sixth but when they earned a quick tapped penalty Gonzalo Tiesi made no mistake. The conversion flew wide of the posts but Ignacio Corleto scored again soon after and the score moved to 56-3 after a slightly harsh penalty try award.
The Pumas went quiet after that and spurned a fine chance after 69 minutes with a handling error but substitute Federico Todeschini, who also helped himself to two conversions, added impetus and chased his own grubber to keep the points coming.
Argentina (25) 63
Namibia (3) 3
Argentina: Corleto, Senillosa, Pedro Tiesi, M. Contepomi, Agulla, F. Contepomi, Pichot, Roncero, Basualdo, Hasan, C. Fernandez Lobbe, Albacete, Ostiglia, Martin Hernandez, Leguizamon.
Replacements: Ledesma, Scelzo, Kairelis, Longo Elia, Fernandez Miranda, Todeschini, Miras.
Namibia: Bock, Mouton, Grobler, Powell, Africa, Schreuder, Jantjies, Redelinghuys, Meyer, Visser, Kazombiaze, Esterhuize,
Replacements: Horn, Lensing, Lindvelt, Senekal, van Tonder, Langenhoven, van Zyl.
Referee: S Dickinson (Australia)