Argentine Open – Day 1

127th Abierto Argentino de Polo Kicks Off at Palermo

               Rain pushed back the start of the 127th Abierto Argentino de Polo two days after the opening game between RS Murus Sanctus and La Irenita II was postponed halfway through the third chukka on Saturday. When play resumed, RS Murus Sanctus produced an impressive performance, defeating La Irenita II 19-7, while the second game of the day saw La Natividad Monjitas capture the 15-10 victory over La Irenita on Field 1 at Palermo.

               An unrelenting RS Murus Sanctus attack was led by Sapo Caset and Facundo Sola, with the duo combining for 17 of their team’s 19 goals. Held without a field goal until the fifth chukka, La Irenita II’s debut in the Triple Crown got off to a slow start as they struggled to match the pace set by RS Murus Sanctus. The efficiency from both the field and the penalty for RS Murus Sanctus proved to be overwhelming as they completed the convincing 17-9 victory.

               Beginning under wet conditions, Caset dominated play, scoring the first six goals of the game, three each from the field and the penalty line to give RS Murus Sanctus the commanding six-goal lead. The pressure of RS Murus Sanctus’ attack forced La Irenita II into foul trouble, before play was suspended halfway through the third chukka with a 6-1 score in favour of RS Murus Sanctus. Continuing right where they left off, RS Murus Sanctus dominated the remainder of the first half on Monday, beginning with back-to-back goals from Sola, extending the lead to seven. A penalty 4 conversion for Caset ended the half, leaving La Irenita II facing a large deficit.

               Reorganizing to begin the second half, La Irenita II found momentum behind the play of Tomas Fernandez Llorente, converting two penalty 2’s while also adding a goal from the field as part of a 4-1 run. Undeterred, RS Murus Sanctus responded with the duo of Caset and Sola charging forward, on the receiving end of passes from Elizalde. Producing a 5-1 run of their own, RS Murus Sanctus restored their lead, entering the final chukka with an insurmountable nine-goal lead. The potent attack of RS Murus Sanctus added for more goals to finish with the 19-7 victory to open the final leg of the Triple Crown.

               The second match displayed pinpoint penalty shooting on both sides of the ball with Juan Martin Zubia and Camilo Castagnola combining for perfect 11 for 11 penalty shooting. With little separating the two teams from the penalty line, the difference in the game came from open play where La Natividad Monjitas held La Irenita to just one field goal until the final seconds of the sixth chukka. Active in the #1 and #2 positions, Camilo Castagnola and Polito Pieres excelled in the strong first half that ultimately led La Natividad Monjitas to victory.

               Just 30 seconds into the game, Zubia converted a penalty 3 for La Irenita, but that would be their only lead as Camilo Castagnola and Pieres scored one goal and assisted on the other’s to hold the 2-1 advantage. In arguably his best performance of the season, Pieres added two more goals as part of a four-goal run for La Natividad Monjitas, leaving La Irenita facing a five-goal deficit. Zubia fought to keep his team in the game, setting up Juan Martin Zubia while also converting a safety, but the difference on the scoreboard remained the same as La Natividad Monjitas continued to produce from the field.

               A scoreless fifth chukka for La Irenita hurt their odds for a comeback with Camilo Castagnola and Pieres’ fifth goal each extended the lead to seven. Accounting for all but one of his team’s 10 goals, Zubia looked to singlehandedly bring La Irenita back into the game over the final three chukkas. La Irenita’s drought from the field ended in the only goal of the sixth chukka and they carried the momentum into the seventh, where three goals from Zubia inched La Irenita closer. However, the well-rounded play of La Natividad Monjitas carried them to victory, with their first half proving to be too much for La Irenita to overcome. Camilo Castagnola’s seventh and eighth goals secured the 15-10 victory to join RS Murus Sanctus atop Zone A. 


Photo credit: Matías Callejo / Press AAP

To see the best plays of the match, click HERE,  where you can download a video from ESPN.

Games  for  Tuesday 1/12 – Zone B:

11.00 – Field 2

The Dolfina Polo Ranch: Guillermo Terrera (h) 8, Juan Britos (h) 8, Diego Cavanagh 9 and Alejo Taranco 8. Total: 33.

Geté Breeding: Valerio Zubiaurre (h) 8, Cristian Laprida (h) 8, Joaquín Pittaluga 8 or Tomás García del Río 7 and Ignacio Laprida 8. Total: 32/31.

Judges: Matías Baibiene and Gonzalo López Vargas. Arbitrator: Rafael Silva.

16.00 – Field 1

The Machitos: Agustín Merlos 8, Ignacio Toccalino 8, Mariano Aguerre 7 and Santiago Toccalino 8. Total: 31.

La Ensenada-La Aguada: Second Bocchino 6, Alfredo Bigatti 8, Matías Torres Zavaleta 8 and Jerome Del Carril 7. Total: 29.

Judges: Gaston Lucero and Martín Pascual. Arbitrator: Esteban Ferrari


Zone A

The Dolfina Saudi Polo Team: Adolfo Cambiaso (h) 10, David Stirling (h) 10, Pablo Mac Donough 10 and Juan M Nero 10. Total: 40.

RS Murus Sanctus: Facundo Sola 9, Francisco Elizalde 8, Guillermo Caset (h) 10 and Alfredo Cappella Barabucci 8. Total: 35.

The Irenite II: Santiago Loza 7, Tomás Fernández Llorente (h) 7, Juan Ruiz Guiñazú (h) 8 and Pedro Falabella (h) 7. Total: 29.

Zone B

Ellerstina Johor: Facundo Pieres 10, Hilario Ulloa 10, Gonzalo Pieres (h) 9 and Nicolás Pieres 10. Total: 39.


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