Coupe du monde de rugby 2023 : l’Argentine gagne de justesse face aux Samoa

Battus pour leur entrée en lice par l’Angleterre, les Pumas ont rebondi en dominant laborieusement les Samoa, ce vendredi 22 septembre. 

L’Argentine, dans un stade acquis à sa cause, s’est rassurée après sa défaite inaugurale face à l’Angleterre, en s’imposant contre les Samoa 19-10 vendredi à Saint-Étienne lors de la 2e journée du groupe D du Mondial.

The Pumas, who will face Chile in Nantes on September 30th and then Japan on October 8th, also in Nantes, can now legitimately hope to reach the finals of the World Cup in France. They can thank their opponents, Christian Lealiifano and Duncan Paia’aua, primarily for this.

The costly mistakes made by Samoa.

The fly-half and the Samoan fullback completely missed the start of the match and allowed Argentina, who were serious but not brilliant, to take control of the game. First, Paia’aua made a mistake just 30 seconds into the game. When Lealiifano’s high kick came down, he didn’t attempt to contest for the ball, instead he unbalanced his opponent Juan Cruz Mallia in the air and left his teammates with 14 players for the first ten minutes of the match.

As if that wasn’t enough, Lealiifano, within his own 22 meters, failed to put the ball back into play after recovering it from a broken tackle, thus handing the ball back to the Argentinians who didn’t ask for it. Pressured in their own half, the strong Samoan defense eventually gave in, with Argentine winger Emiliano Boffelli finishing off a well-executed play (7-0, 9th minute).

C’est ce qui a séparé les deux équipes tout au long d’une partie, loin d’être un sommet de jeu, mais qui a illustré parfaitement ce qui distingue les nations dites du premier tiers de celles du second, Fidji, Samoa et Tonga en tête.

Buteurs fiables

L’Argentine, nation « majeure », a récité son rugby, appliqué un plan de jeu simple et efficace, ne se mettant en danger qu’en toute fin de partie, lorsque le score était fait en leur faveur. Les Samoa, intrinsèquement au même niveau que leur adversaire, ont multiplié les choix hasardeux, n’ont pas su s’adapter à la pluie, drue, qui s’est abattue sur Saint-Étienne durant tout le premier acte, n’ayant d’autres solutions que de produire du jeu au large, alors même que le ballon, glissant, semblait impossible à contrôler.

The complete opposite of the Pumas, who therefore had to reassure themselves after their first failed match against England (defeat 27-10) and who applied the rugby recipe for that: superior conquest, clean kicking game to exit their own half, forward drives to get closer to the Samoan goal line. And reliable kickers, Boffelli and Sanchez, more reliable than their counterparts (19 points scored between them).

Argentina will need to significantly raise their level of play if they want to reach the semi-finals in the competition, a level achieved by their illustrious predecessors in 2007 and 2015. By playing like this, they should probably reach the quarter-finals without much difficulty and do better than four years ago in Japan, where they failed to advance from their group. Overall, it would be a progress.

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