The Pumas fly-half led the side out in Nantes before dotting down for the opening score
Nicolas Sanchez has been around long enough to know that things don’t always pan out how you plan them in international rugby. But things went very much to script for the experienced fly-half on the occasion of his 100th cap.
The 34-year-old is no longer Michael Cheika‘s first-choice in the No 10 shirt, that honour now falls to Gloucester’s Santiago Carreras, but he issued a timely reminder of both his ability with ball in hand and off the tee.
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Watch Nicolas Sanchez solo try on 100th cap for Argentina
The pre-game atmosphere at the Stade de la Beaujoire in Nantes was raucous on an historic day as two South American sides faced off for the first time ever in Rugby World Cup history.
The passion surged through the stadium during both anthems on a scorching late September afternoon before Argentina got down to business.
The early exchanges were fairly even as both sides tried to feel each other out, Chile’s Santiago Videla attempted to give his side the lead with a penalty from the halfway line but came up short.
Then Argentina took control, as was to be expected given they have won all 36 capped internationals against their local rivals.
Sanchez found himself in space and with options on the right-hand side and while he shaped to pass, a dummy was enough to shake off the attempted tackle of opposite man Rodrigo Fernandez, who should have done much better, and he glided over for the game’s opening score after nine minutes.
After the Nicolas Sanchez solo try, the man of the moment then slotted a touchline conversion to add the extras to his own score. He then added a well-struck penalty and had no problem turning Juan Martin Gonzalez and Agustin Creevy’s maul tries into seven-point scores.
That took Sanchez’s personal contribution to an impressive 14 points, befitting a fine career. He is just the second man to bring up a century for Los Pumas after his hooker and long-time team-mate Creevy.