Canada vs Argentina 1996

Scott Hendry Mario Ledesma Canada Argentina Pumas Rugby Pan-American ChampionshipsTime for some classic rugby, another from the 1996 Pan-Am Series held in Ontario. This is the final, featuring the Pumas of Argentina and hosts Canada.

The game was at Fletcher’s Fields, the old home of test rugby in Toronto. Thankfully they’ve moved on from there, though the six-field complex remains home to several clubs for both practice and matches.

Canada, under the direction of head coach Pat Parfrey, had introduced several new players into the squad and had done well to make the tournament decider against an inexperienced Pumas side that contained several players who would go on to become household names in the coming years. Mario Ledesma is seen here in only his 2nd test cap, similarly on the bench were Martín Scelzo and Ignacio Fernández Lobbe, though neither would see action in this one. Gonzalo Quesada was in his 3rd test and his first big match. By contrast this is the last test appearance of veteran lock José Simes, now the head coach of Córdoba.

It was an entertaining match, and though professionalism had been creeping into most Tier 1 nations by now, both of these sides were still almost entirely amateur. Commentary is from Tommy Smith and Mike Hill, a mildly amusing combination more acquainted with roundball. The video source is again VHS.

Saturday, September 21, 1996, Toronto

Referee: Jerry McLemore (USAR)

Canada Argentina Pumas Pan American Rugby Championships Lineups Penpics

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