Argentina sweep depleted North aside
Monday 02 December 1996
Argentina reached the half-way mark of their seven-match tour of England by brushing aside the limited challenge of a makeshift North team at the McAlpine Stadium, Huddersfield yesterday to complete a predictable clean sweep against the four English Divisions. It brought to an end the troubled, and largely irrelevant, Counties of Origin series, which has been the principal, and most visible, victim of the bitter wrangling between the Rugby Football Union and English Professional Rugby Clubs.
With the North being forced to field nine players involved in Anglo-Welsh matches on Saturday, it was unreasonable to expect that they could provide effective opposition. It was a situation which drew a strong protest from the North's chairman of rugby, John Spencer.
"We have been driven into a hopeless position in the struggle for power and money between Epruc and the RFU," he said. "With many of our top clubs stuffed with players not eligible for England, this is obviously the way to go. Our full-strength divisions should be playing major international touring teams. That we haven't been able to do and this has been a disgrace."
Argentina paid the North a compliment by picking a side, all of whom have played international rugby, with six of the backs and three or four of the forwards likely to be in the team to play England.
The North, ravaged by injuries and the needless unavailability of their best players, had as their first target to keep the score below the 86- 0 posted by the New Zealand Barbarians here a week ago. At least they managed that; though for some while it was touch and go.
The tourists were not long in building momentum. Their outside-half Jose Cilley, with nine caps to his name and still only 23, is a neat footballer who will trouble better organised defences than the North could muster.
He combined silkily with Eduardo Simone, who sliced through a hesitant North midfield to set up the Argentinians' first try for the flanker Christian Viel. Pablo Bouza was on the end of a forward drive for the second, and after only 10 minutes the North looked to be on the end of another heavy defeat.
While the North's attacking options were acutely limited, Gary Monaghan pounced on a loose ball for a try. John Stabler converted to add to the first of his three penalties and, momentarily, it looked as if the North might make Argentina work hard for victory.
But it was not to last. Simone added a try of his own, Toms Solari collected two and the full-back Diego Giannantonio the sixth as the half ended with Argentina 38-13 to the good.
The Argentinians slackened the pace after the interval but there was still time for four more tries, which would have been five had not the touch judge spotted Raul Perez's infringement, so the North were spared further punishment. That much they deserved.
North: Try Monaghan; Conversion Stabler; Penalties: Stabler 3. Argentina: Tries Solari 2, Soler 2, Viel, Bouza 2, Simone, Grau, Giannantonio; Conversions: Cilley 7.
NORTH: P Massey (Wakefield); G Monaghan (Waterloo), D Elliott, S Burnhill (both Rotherham), R Thompson (Wakefield); J Stabler (West Hartlepool), S Cook; M Worsley (both Orrell), T Garnett (Wakefield), S Turner, P Rees (both Orrell), P Stewart, P Angelsea (both Orrell), P Manley (Wakefield, capt), J Dudley (Rotherham). Replacements: Lee (West Hartlepool) for Elliott, 40; A Ludiman (Harrogate) for Stewart, 52; Scully (Wakefield) for Cook, 52; A Handley (Waterloo) for Stabler, 60; R Latham (Wakefield) for Worsley, 69; A Moffatt (Orrell) for Garnett, 73.
ARGENTINA: D Giannantonio; F Soler (both Tala), E Simone (Liceo Naval), L Arbizu (Belgrano AC, capt), T Solara (Hind); J Cilley (San Isidro), N-F Miranda (Hind); O Hasan (Tucuman), M Ledesma (Curupayti), M Reggiardo (Castes), G Llanes (La Plata), I-F Lobbe (Liceo Naval), G Garcia (Duendes), C Viel (Newman), P Bouza (Duendes). Replacements: R P Perez (Duendes) for Garcia, 16; R Grau (Liceo Naval) for Lobbe, 40.
Referee: D Mene (France).
Latest in Sport
How Liverpool can catch Manchester United and secure Champions League football next season
Arsenal transfer news: Tomas Rosicky and Mathieu Flamini set for showdown summer talks over future
Arsenal transfer news: Arsene Wenger reveals: 'We are not close to signing anybody. We need to lose some players'
Danny Jones: Keighley Cougars half-back dies after cardiac arrest during league game
Chelsea season player ratings: Grading the entire squad of the new Premier League champions
- 2 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 3 Russell Brand backs Ed Miliband: 'You gotta vote Labour'
- 4 General Election 2015: 14-year-old boy asks Nick Clegg – 'can you kill Katie Hopkins?'
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful professional services firm is lo...
£25000 per annum + pension, 25 days holiday: Ashdown Group: A highly reputable...
£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly reputable business is looking to rec...
£22000 - £28000 per annum + study support, gym: Ashdown Group: A large busines...