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Dublin: 9°C Tuesday 18 May 2021


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Good morning and welcome to the first of today’s Rugby World Cup liveblogs. I hope you have your can of Red Bull handy.

Here are the teams for you:

ARGENTINA: Lucas González Amorosino, Gonzalo Camacho, Marcelo Bosch, Martin Rodríguez, Horacio Agulla, Santiago Fernández, Nicolás Vergallo; Rodrigo Roncero, Mario Ledesma, Juan Figallo, Manuel Carizza, Patricio Albacete, Julio Farías Cabello, Juan Manuel Leguizamón, Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe (captain). Replacements:Agustín Creevy, Martín Scelzo, Mariano Galarza, Alejandro Campos, Alfredo Lalanne, Nicolás Sánchez, Juan José Imhoff.

ROMANIA: Iulian Dumitras, Madalin Lemnaru, Csaba Gal, Constantin Gheara, Ionel Cazan, Tiberius Dimofte, Florin Surugiu; Mihaita Lazar, Marius Tincu (captain), Paulica Ion, Valentin Ursache, Cristian Petre, Mihai Macovei, Ovidiu Tonita, Daniel Carpo. Replacements: Bogdan Suman, Silviu Florea, Valentin Poparlan, Daniel Ianus, Valentin Calafeteanu, Marin Dumbrava, Florin Vlaicu.

You know, I always wondered if my encyclopedic knowledge of Romanian rugby would ever come in handy.

Romania have played at every Rugby World Cup since the inaugural one in 1987.

Argentina have so far endured an agonising late loss to a somewhat lucky England side.

Meanwhile, Romania put in an admirable performance against Scotland, giving their opponents quite a shock on that occasion. Indeed, they were leading late in the game, until a Scottish try in the dying stages broke their hearts.

What are your predictions for today? Does anyone actually think Ireland are capable of beating Australia? Let us know in the comments section below. Mine are as follows:

Argentina 30-15 Romania

South Africa 28-10 Fiji

Australia 24-14 Ireland

And we’re off…

Argentina have continued on from their game against England, with some aggressive running from their forwards.

PENALTY MISSED!!! Argentina’s Rodriguez shanks his penalty to the right of the posts. That was very kickable. He’ll be disappointed.

TRY: ARGENTINA 7-0 ROMANIA: Santiago Fernández finds a gap in the Romanian defence and runs right through it for the simplest of tries. Rodriguez comfortably slots home a straightforward conversion.

TRY!!! ARGENTINA 14-0 ROMANIA Manuel Leguizamón finds another gap in the defence and barrels over the last Romanian player while crossing the try line. What a beast he is! Rodriguez just about gets the conversion from a difficult angle.

Romania have kicked it into the corner in the Argentinian 22. Chance for an immediate response.

ARGENTINA 14-3 ROMANIA: Tiberius Dimofte kicks a relatively straightforward penalty. Fair play to the Romanians, they clearly aren’t lying down just yet.

Romania win a penalty, following a period of Argentinan pressure. They had the ball about five metres from the Romanian try line, but once again, the Romanians demonstrate their doggedness and escape from danger.

The Argentinian players, and in particular their forwards, clearly are up for it today. They’re obviously hurting from that England loss and are responding in the best possible way.

TRY!!! Argentina 19-3 Romania: Juan Figallo proves too strong for the Romanian forwards. He drives over the line, with three Romanian forwards failing to stop him. The conversion is hit slightly to the right of the posts. Rodriguez is looking a tad shaky I must say.

Is it game over already? Or can Romania stage an unlikely comeback, as they did against Scotland?

Argentina really are playing some great rugby at the moment. I’d favour them strongly when they take on Scotland, based on the evidence of the game so far.

BONUS POINT TRY!!!  ARGENTINA 26-3 ROMANIA Lucas González Amorosino adds his name to the scoreboard. Some wonderful, fluid rugby from Argentina, which Romania simply have no answer to. A series of passes before Amorosino darted through two Romanians for a try under the posts, which is comfortably converted.

TRY! ARGENTINA 26-8 ROMANIA: Romania show great character to respond immediately. Fairly straightforward try too. They stretch their opponents’ defence, passing it right across their backline for Ionel Cazan to score in the left-hand corner of the pitch. The conversion drifts narrowly to the right of the posts.

Indiscipline from the Romanians again, as they’re penalised for being offside, giving Argentina a scrum five metres from Romania’s try line. However, poor passing from Argentina lets them down, and the ball is thrown out of play for a Romanian line-out.

The Romanians really are an infuriating team to watch – sporadically brilliant, but error-ridden for the most part.

PENALTY MISSED!!! To be fair, that was a difficult chance. Dimofte hits it well wide of the posts from a difficult angle, 48 yards out.

HALF TIME: Argentina 26-8 Romania

Argentina have dominated this game. It’s been an impressive showing, considering how Romania are no pushovers, as they demonstrated against Scotland. I can’t see the Argentinians collapsing like the Scots did either.

Prior to today’s match, Romania played Argentina on seven occasions – losing every time. It doesn’t look as if that poor record is going to change any time soon.

We’re back. The second half is underway…

Interestingly, Agustín Creevy has replaced Mario Ledesma. Didn’t look like the big man had taken a knock, so they could well be resting him. Is it a sign that Argentina think they have the game wrapped up perhaps? In fairness, they probably do.

PENALTY MISSED!!! Rodriguez has missed another one. Argentina can’t get Contepomi back soon enough on this evidence.

ARGENTINA 29-8 ROMANIA: Rodriguez gets one finally. It was hardly difficult though, given that it was close in and only slightly to the right of the posts.

Romania are in a good attacking position now. Without wanting to sound too condescending, what they lack in skill, they somewhat make up for in persistence and dogged determination.

ROMANIAN SUBSTITUTIONS: Valentin Poparlan for Cristian Petre and Florin Vlaicu for Iulian Dumitras.

ARGENTINA SUBSTITUTION: Juan José Imhoff for Gonzalo Camacho.

The second half has been less frantic than the first. Argentina seem to be relaxing a bit.

Deary me. Rodrigo Roncero loses his pants during a driving maul.

YELLOW CARD FOR ROMANIA: Lazar is justly sin-binned for coming over the top in a ruck.

Excellent defence from Romania. They somehow drive Argentina out into touch from their own try-line.

Romania have been battered today, but they have performed respectably and have so far restricted Argentina to a single penalty in this half.

Argentina have begun to fade somewhat, just as they did during the latter stages against England. Perhaps their fitness levels aren’t up to scratch?

A Mexican Wave has started. There is a sizable Argentinian contingent in the stadium – it emphasises the enormous strides that the game has made there in recent times.

TRY!!! ARGENTINA 36-8 ROMANIA Juan José Imhoff comfortably evades the Romanian prop to score an easy try under the posts, which Rodriguez then casually converts.

Romania are back to 15 men, and did very well to hold the Argentinians for so long with 14 players. Unfortunately for the minnows, their tiredness eventually got the better of them, thus enabling Argentina to add a further seven points to the scoreboard.

Just under ten minutes to go. Argentina have a lineout inside the Romanian 22.

TRY!!! ARGENTINA 43-8 ROMANIA Genaro Fessia with a stunning run from inside his own half, after a Romanian pass is intercepted. Another relatively easy conversion for Rodriguez.

Romania are a few yards away from their opponents’ try line. They deserve another consolation score.

The Romanians look absolutely exhausted at the moment. They’ll sleep like babies tonight.

Wonderful defence again from Romania, with the Argentinians virtually camped in their 22.

FULL  TIME: ARGENTINA 43-8 ROMANIA: Finally, after over two minutes of injury time, it’s all over. An imperious display from the Pumas, in which they scored six tries to Romania’s one.

In summary, Romania showed great, but the Argentinians were ultimately a class above their opponents. So Romania at least have something to build on, while Argentinian rugby continues to go from strength to strength.

Argentina had 58% possession to Romania’s 42%

The captain Lobbe has said the win “gave us confidence”. He adds that they didn’t always “do the basics well” and need to be more consistent. He also praises the fantastic Argentinian support.

So, an impressive display from Argentina. With that in mind, how far do you think the Pumas can go in the Rugby World Cup?

Poll Results:

Quarter finals (7)
Final (2)
Group stages (1)
Semi finals (1)
Winners (1)

Right, I’m off to make myself a strong cup of coffee. I will, however, be back to liveblog the South Africa v Fiji game very shortly. Until then, thanks for reading.

About the author:

Paul Fennessy