Take a trip down memory lane with the Pumas
Dates and facts that stand out as some of Argentina’s biggest rugby moments are plentiful.
Some take obvious precedence but here is a handful of those achievements that stand out.
Argentina’s biggest rugby moments – a timeline
1872 – A game of football with Rugby School rules is played at the Buenos Aires Cricket Club fields. That club would later join forces with the BA Football Club. The Buenos Aires Cricket & Rugby Club is still going strong and plays in Buenos Aires’ top division.
1899 – The Buenos Aires Rugby Championship is played for the first time. Five clubs take part, four of which continue to exist and are top clubs.
1910 – The British Isles team, later considered Lions, tours Argentina and plays what is considered to be the first Test. Argentina lose 27-3. The fifteen names in the home side are of British descent.
1936 – Argentina cross the Andes to play their first ever away game against Chile. 87 years later, Los Cóndores will play their first Rugby World Cup.
1952 – Ireland tour Argentina for the first time and lose a club game, against Pucará, the first home side to beat an international team.
1964 – Danie Craven travels to Sao Paulo, Brazil, to check the Argentina side that wins the South American Championship. He green lights a tour to South Africa.
1965 – Upon arriving in Rhodesia, the Yaguareté on the team shirt is mistaken for a Puma. The name sticks.
1965 – Los Pumas beat the Junior Springboks 11-6 in front of a full-house at Ellis Park. The world takes notice of the South American giants.
1968 – Wales, Scotland the following year, and Ireland in 1970 fail to win series in brutal Tests in Buenos Aires.
1971 – An injury to the preferred fly-half means that future World Rugby Hall of Famer Hugo Porta makes his international debut against Chile in the N0 10 jersey he would wear until his retirement in 1990.
1973 – Ireland and Scotland are the stops in Los Pumas’ first European tour. An 81st minute Colin Telfer drop-goal avoids Scottish embarrassment. They win 12-11.
1976 – Phil Bennett is cunning in moving the ball forward a metre for his final kick in Cardiff. From halfway, the ball avoids hitting the crossbar and Wales win 20-19.
1981 – Bill Beaumont brings England to Argentina for the first time and share the series.
1982 – Sudamérica XV, Argentina in all but name, beat the Springboks 21-12 in Bloemfontein. Porta scored a try and kicks three drops to reach 21 points.
1983 – Beating the Wallabies 18-3 in Brisbane represents the first Argentine full Test win overseas.
1985 – France is finally beaten for the first time, a regular opponent since 1949.
1985 – When the All Blacks are not allowed to go on tour to South Africa, due to Apartheid, they visit Argentina. The final test is drawn 21-21 – Porta again scoring every point.
1987 – After a horrible inaugural Rugby World Cup, the Wallabies are beaten to finish a year of many lessons.
1992 – With the unerring boot of Santiago Mesón (seven penalties), Argentina beat France 24-20 in Nantes, the first win against the old foe in their country.
1997 – Following a series loss against the All Blacks with an aggregate score of 155-18, changes start to happen. France should have been beaten in Tarbes and the Wallabies are beaten in Buenos Aires.
1999 – Having never moved out of pool phase in RWC, Los Pumas beat Wales and Japan before beating Ireland 28-24 to advance to the quarter-finals. Within a year, playing numbers double in the country. Puma-mania is born.
2006 – England is beaten at Twickenham for the first time. Despite issues between players and the national body, the strength within is growing.
2007 – Bronze medal in Rugby World Cup . Two wins against France, and one against Scotland and Ireland gives Puma-mania a second wave. In the team are future World Rugby Hall of Famers Agustín Pichot and Felipe Contepomi. Undoubtedly one of Argentina’s biggest rugby moments.
2011 – Under the Wellington rain, a win against Scotland give Los Pumas a quarter-final opportunity against eventual champion New Zealand. A month later, it is confirmed that Argentina will join The Rugby Championship.
2015 – With almost twenty original 1965 Pumas in attendance, Los Pumas beat the Springboks in Durban, their first win in South Africa.
2015 – With four seasons of Rugby Championship in the bank, Los Pumas finish third; their three losses are against the All Blacks in the opening game, Australia in semi-finals and South Africa in the bronze medal game.
2016 – Jaguares joins Super Rugby.
2019 – Jaguares reaches the Super Rugby final, losing to perennial champion Crusaders in Christchurch.
2020 – Against every possible odd, with Covid-19 creating havoc in Argentina, the team travels to Australia where they beat the All Blacks with fly-half Nicolás Sánchez scoring the 25 points. Two draws against the Wallabies place them second in the three-team tournament.
2022 – New Zealand are finally beaten in New Zealand. The 25-18 win is erased a week later when the All Blacks win 53-3.
2022 – England are beaten for a second time at Twickenham. Soon after – as in 2006 – the coach is sacked.
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