Pampas XV cruise into Vodacom Cup final
Duane Heath
May 06, 2011
The Pampas XV went on a second-half scoring spree to hammer the Sharks XV 41-26 (halftime 7-16) at Olën Park in Potchefstroom on Friday to advance to the Vodacom Cup final.

The Argentineans will meet either Griquas or the defending champion Blue Bulls in the final. The second semifinal takes place in Kimberley on Saturday afternoon.

The Sharks XV were full value for a nine-point halftime lead but they were blown away in the second half by a Pampas XV who upped their intensity dramatically.

The result was five tries and a second-half scoreline of 34-3, until Sharks wing Mark Richards’s consolation try on the hooter gave the final score a slightly more respectable look.

In truth, however, the men from Durban just couldn’t live with the pace of the Pampas XV players once they clicked into gear after the break, with tries going wings Juan Imhoff (2) and Agustin Gosio, fullback Joaquin Tuculet and scrumhalf Nicolas Bruzzone.

It was all so different in the first half, when the visitors opened up a 10-0 lead inside seven minutes thank to a penalty from fullback Gouws Prinsloo in the opening minute and a well-worked try by left wing Rosko Specman from a full backline move.

The Pampas XV, who found themselves starved of possession after being heavily penalised at the breakdown, fought their way back into the match when flanker Julio Farias Cabello drove over in the right-hand corner in the 23rd minute for flyhalf Nicolas Sanchez to convert.

The Sharks XV then grabbed the initiative just before the break when Prinsloo found his radar after a couple of earlier misses to kick over two penalties to give his team a nine-point lead.

But within seven minutes of the restart it was the Pampas XV who had grabbed a lead they would never relinquish, thanks to a 43rd-minute Sanchez penalty and a darting try by scrumhalf Bruzzone.

Further tries came in the 52nd, 65th, 67th and 76th minutes while for the Sharks XV the only time they troubled the scoreboard operator, apart from Richards’ late effort, was a lone penalty from Prinsloo on the hour.

That kick actually brought the Sharks XV to within three points of the Pampas XV, but any hopes of a come-from-behind victory were quickly snuffed out by some irresistible play from the Argentineans.


Pampas XV 41– Tries: Julio Farias Cabello, Nicolas Bruzzone, Juan Imhoff (2), Joaquin Tuculet, Agustin Gosio. Conversions: Nicolas Sanchez (4). Penalties: Sanchez.

Sharks XV 26 – Tries: Rosko Specman, Mark Richards. Conversion: Gouws Prinsloo (2). Penalties: Prinsloo (4).

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