Argentina warmed up for their Rugby Championship campaign with an impressive 58-12 demolition of a NSW Barbarians selection.
In chilly conditions in Salta the Pumas recorded a second victory against the touring New South Wales team, producing a much improved performance from the opening encounter of their two-match series.
The Pumas snatched a dramatic 29-27 victory over BaaBaas selection with the last kick of their match in La Plata last week.
Trailing 0-32 at the break, NSW hit back with tries from flank Jed Holloway and 18-year-old Randwick playmaker David Horwitz to complete the final leg of their two-match series against Argentina.
Boasting 437 caps in their run-on side, the Pumas superiority quickly showed – as they took the lead by slotting three points before adding a further seven courtesy of a converted try from scrumhalf Martín Landajo after seven minutes.
A drop-goal followed by two further tries, one apiece from wings Gonzalo Camacho and Juan Imhoff, extended the home side’s lead to 25-0 on 30 minutes, before a fourth effort, this time from outside centre Joaquín Tuculet, left them with a comfortable 32-0 advantage at the break.
Boosted by the arrival of fresh legs as coach Michael Cheika made the most of his extended bench, the visitors hit back after just three minutes with a try from young replacement playmaker David Horwitz, who also added the conversion.
Further tries from Pumas breakaway Juan Manuel Leguizamón, Camacho and replacement Horacio Agulla put the result beyond doubt, but did nothing to diminish the NSW Barbarians’ efforts, as they continued to defend with vigour and attack with ball in hand.
Their passion did result in a second try after 73 minutes, scored by Southern districts flank Jed Holloway and converted by replacement scrumhalf Brendan McKibbin, shortly after Pumas replacement Pablo Matera had added his side’s eighth.
The full-time score at a chilly Padre Ernesto Martearena in Salta was 58-12 in the home side’s favour, with the match completing the Pumas preparations for the Rugby Championship – which kicks off next weekend when the Pumas take on South Africa in Soweto.
The Wallabies host New Zealand in the opening match of the tournament earlier on Saturday 17 August.
Tries: Landajo, Camacho (2), Imhoff, Tuculet, Leguizamon, Agulla, Matera
Cons: Contepomi (2), Hernandez, Sanchez (3)
Pens: Contepomi, Hernandez
For NSW Barbarians:
Tries: Horwitz, Holloway
Argentina: 15 Lucas González Amorosino, 14 Gonzalo Camacho, 13 Joaquín Tuculet, 12 Felipe Contepomi, 11 Juan Imhoff, 10 Juan Martín Hernández, 9 Martín Landajo, 8 Leonardo Senatore, 7 Juan Manuel Leguizamón, 6 Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe (Captain), 5 Mariano Galarza, 4 Manuel Carizza, 3 Juan Figallo, 2 Agustín Creevy, 1 Marcos Ayerza.
Replacements – from: Eusebio Guiñazú, Nahuel Lobo, Matías Díaz, Julio Farías Cabello, Pablo Matera, Tomás Cubelli, Nicolás Sánchez, Santiago Fernández, Marcelo Bosch, Horacio Agulla.
NSW Barbarians: 15 Drew Mitchell, 14 Cam Crawford, 13 Rob Horne, 12 Terrence Hepetema, 11 Alofa Alofa, 10 Ben Volavola, 9 Matt Lucas, 8 Tala Gray, 7 Pat McCutcheon (Captain), 6 Jack Dempsey, 5 Mitchell Chapman, 4 Will Skelton, 3 Sam Talakai, 2 Luke Holmes, 1 Jeremy Tilse.
Replacements – from: Kerren Straker, Tolu Latu, Keliti Vangalo, Jed Holloway, Brendan McKibbin, Auvasa Falealii, David Horwitz, Michael McDougall, Usaia O’Sullivan, Alex Gibbon, Matt Carraro, David Lolohea.
Referee: Juan Hernán Sylvestre
Assistant referees: Federico Anselmi, Santiago Altobelli