Argentina scored nine tries to record a 64-19 victory over Namibia in Leicester on Sunday, writes MARIETTE ADAMS.
Los Pumas made 11 changes to their starting lineup for the final game of Pool B, but it mattered little as the reinforcements wrapped up the bonus point in the first half.
Namibia, who were weakened by the injury-enforced retirement of longstanding captain Jacques Burger, had no defensive reprieve to Los Pumas’ attacking prowess, but their never-say-die attitude did earn them three well taken converted tries.
The South Americans raced off to a 10-point lead courtesy of a converted try by Juan Martín Hernández and a penalty by Santiago Iglesias. Unflustered, Namibia hit back when wing Johan Tromp pounced on a poor pass by Hernández, for their first try.
Once again poor tackling led to Nambia's undoing. Matias Moroni and Horacio Agulla both scored within five minutes, making it three consecutive games in which both Argentina wings got on the scoresheet. The forwards then got in on the act, as flank Pablo Matera and loosehead prop Juan Orlandi crossed for a 36-7 half-time lead.
Namibia had the crowd in raptures when they crossed for the first score after the restart. Taking advantage of another handling error by Argentina, outside centre JC Greyling scuttled over for a converted effort.
Argentina, however, continued merrily and produced five second-half scores.
Lucas Noguera and Matias Alemanno went over to get on the scoresheet, before the action went awol for a while. But as soon as Argentina’s reserves came on, injecting more pace into the game, Leonardo Senatore, Julian Montoya and Tomas Cubelli took Los Pumas beyond the 60-point mark.
Finally, from a turnover deep in Argentina territory, Eugene Jantjies scored the Welwitchias’ third try in the last play of the game.
The match and Namibia’s campaign ended in good spirit as retiring prop Johnny Redelinghuys, the first man to play 50 Tests for the country, was given the opportunity to kick the conversion. While his attempt hit the post, it was still a noteworthy moment.
Argentina – Tries: Juan Martín Hernández, Matias Moroni, Horacia Agulla, Pablo Matero, Lucas Noguera, Matias Alemanno, Leonardo Senatore, Julian Montoya, Tomas Cubelli. Conversions: Santiago Iglesias (4), Juan Socino (4). Penalty: Iglesias.
Namibia – Tries: Johan Tromp, JC Greyling, Eugene Jantjies. Conversions: Theuns Kotze (2).
Argentina – 15 Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino, 14 Matias Moroni, 13 Santiago Iglesias, 12 Juan Pablo Socino, 11 Horacio Agulla, 10 Juan Martín Hernández, 9 Martín Landajo (c), 8 Facundo Isa, 7 Javier Ortega Desio, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Matias Alemanno, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Juan Pablo Orlandi, 2 Julian Montoya, 1 Lucas Noguera.
Subs: 16 Agustín Creevy, 17 Marcos Ayerza, 18 Ramiro Herrera, 19 Leonardo Senatore, 20 Juan Martín Fernandéz Lobbe, 21 Tomas Cubelli, 22 Marcelo Bosch, 23 Juan Imhoff.
Namibia – 15 Chrysander Botha, 14 Johan Tromp, 13 JC Greyling, 12 Johan Deysel, 11 Conrad Marais, 10 Theuns Kotze, 9 Eneill Buitendag, 8 Leneve Damens, 7 Wian Conradie, 6 Rohan Kitsoff (c), 5 Tijuee Uanivi, 4 Janco Venter, 3 Johannes Coetzee, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Jaco Engels.
Subs: 16 Louis van der Westhuizen, 17 Johnny Redelinghuys, 18 Raoul Larson, 19 Renaldo Bothma, 20 Tinus du Plessis, 21 PJ van Lill, 22 Eugene Jantjes, 23 Heinrich Smit.
Photo: Ben Hoskins/Getty Images