Wednesday
October 22, 2014

Opinion

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Competition and shocking news

By Frankie Deges
Rugby column

The Odesur Games have not been generating huge interest in the sport pages. As window-dressing for the Pan-American Games, which in turn prepare and qualify for the Olympic Games, they deserve their place in the sporting agenda; for rugby, embarked on the road to Rio 2016, they certainly garnered sufficient interest.

Rugby made its début in the Pan-American Games in Guadalajara 2011, and all guns are now pointing towards the big one in ’16; therefore these Odesur Games had a lot at stake.

On the men’s side of the draw, Argentina has already booked its ticket to the Pan Am Games as a member of the IRB’s World Sevens Series. A place was up for grabs and it went to Uruguay, who lost in the final against Pumas 7s. They themselves managed to confirm their leadership behind our country.

With one place at stake for the Pan American Games to be played next year in Toronto, the Argentine women’s goal was to see if the gap with the Brazilians, unbeaten in the region since women’s international rugby began in 2004, had been reduced. To add to that, with the home side already confirmed as participants in “their” Games, there is a huge opportunity for our girls. The differences are still noticeable: 40-0 in the final confirmed who rules in South America. Yet, the Olympic dream is still intact for Argentina.

For this, they need to be the second-best team behind the girls in gold and green.

PAMPAS XV. Los Pampas XV are playing good rugby, and wining, in Australia. Early today, they were playing aiming for their third win in the Pacific Rugby Cup game against Samoa A. On Friday they beat Gen Blue, in essence the second XV of the New South Wales Waratahs, Super Rugby regulars. This is a tournament Argentina will have a team in from 2016.

Playing against some Waratah regulars (they had a bye this weekend), the win allowed the Pampas to secure first place in their pool and continue in the quest to win the PRC. Beyond that, the goal continues to be to develop players for Puma international duty. It seems the hard work is paying off.

MATEO URIBURU. Any early death hurts. The death of 17 year-old Mateo Uriburu was a huge blow for his family, friends, club and rugby in general. He was touring South Africa with San Isidro Club’s U18.

Apparently, a virus affected him during a training session and only the hard work of the team’s doctor allowed him to arrive to the hospital still alive, although the damage was huge. For more than a couple of decades now, and thanks to the work done by the late Eduardo Poggi (former Puma flyhalf and medical doctor who worked tirelessly for rugby), rugby tours must have a doctor with them. It certainly helped having SIC’s doctor around.

But it wasn’t to be for Mateo who died within four days, on Sunday in the company of his parents and brothers who had rushed to his bedside. Rugby weeps his death. From these lines, we offer our biggest sympathies to family, club and friends.

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