Los Pumas 7 makes its Canadian debut reaffirming its massive hit: The Seven Keys to Success

Los Pumas became champions of the Perth 2024 edition after defeating the local team 31-5 (Image source: Los Pumas 7)

The Argentine team will make its debut on Friday in the Vancouver Sevens against Canada at 8:41 p.m. The team led by Santiago Gomez Cora will seek to defend the title it won in 2023. Spain and Fiji are the other two teams that complete the group. Argentina arrives as the biggest favorite to win the tournament, after becoming champion in Perth. But what are the keys to this team impressing wherever it plays? These are some of the reasons why they became the owners of Rugby Sevens.

1. First, we must highlight the high level enjoyed by many of its players. From captain Santiago Álvarez Fourcade, Agustín Fraga, German Schulz and Toto Mari, but you can focus on the three that stand out the most.

Rodrigo Esgro: The best player in the world from last season is still on the crest of the wave. He did not play the first stages (Dubai and Cape Town) because he did not participate in the pre-season with the team due to his participation with Los Pumas in the 2023 World Cup in France and returned to lift the cup in Perth. He became the owner of all the team's matches, becoming a key player in recovering the ball and developing his skills and aerial game.

Santiago Gomez Cora, team coach

Marcos Moneta: The fastest player on the track. For years, we went crazy watching the runs of Perry Baker or Carl Isles and how they left all their opponents behind. Well, now there's an Argentine who outshines everyone and outpaces them as if the others were slow. A player who is so quick to invent attempts at any moment and does not need a game structure to be able to finish them, as soon as he has space he kills you.

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Luciano Gonzalez Rizzoni: The strong man on the team. All teams need someone to do the dirty work so some can stand out. The “Bulldog” (as opponents called him) is the best ball carrier, the one who hits and collects marks. Sometimes he seems unstoppable, in every tournament he scores goals with pure power.

2. The culmination of the process. Santiago Gomez Cora started working as a sevens team coach in 2013. There have been many teams and players who have gone through this phase. A stage that has reached a very high level thanks to a respected project many years ago. Santiago set the system, created a structure and a game plan that everyone meticulously respected. He has put together what they call a “family”, in fact Rodrigo Isgro used these words to introduce the team when they asked him how the return of the 7-man squad was like after his time at Los Pumas and how the coach welcomed him: “He welcomed me back into the team and into the family. We were in contact with Santi a lot during my time at Los Pumas. He went to the World Cup and participated in several matches. Fortunately, we were able to talk a lot during the World Cup in these months, and it was very nice to welcome me. I am very happy. We talked when we were We're shooting a video and I was so excited, and I got goosebumps, because even though I enjoyed the other thing so much, I missed being here and sharing with the kids.

Marcos Muenta heads towards Ingol. (@lospumas7arg)

3. The team learned how to play definitions. Until 2022, the Pumas have only won two gold medals, Los Angeles in 2004 and San Diego in 2009, for some reason they have managed to reach the final but rarely won it. From 2022 to date, they have won four tournaments, becoming champions in the last two (Cape Town and Perth) and second in the first tournament of the season (Singapore).

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4. Players who join adapt very quickly. It happened with all the new ones. Matthias Osadchuk is one obvious example. In the Setas player's first season, he was elected Rookie of the Year. Youngsters Tobias Wade, Matteo Graziano, Joaquín Belandini and Alejo Lavain all debuted as if they were experienced players, and Toto Mari, for example, adapted without problems after returning to sevens after his time in 15-a-side rugby in Europe.

Rodrigo Isgro has been named the 2023 FIFA World Player of the Year

5. The decision of the United Arab Republic to form a team specialized only in discipline. A few years ago, the seven players were 15 years old and would get together to play from time to time. Today that has changed, They are sevens players and they only train to play that way. They keep going to their clubs but they hardly play, and the priority is for the Seven team. It is clear that this is why it was necessary for the Argentine Federation to help the children financially so that they can specialize as they should.

6. More experienced players are key to the team. Gaston Revol is much more than just a player on the field. He's a coach, a tour guide, and even a big brother to all the newbies. Because he has been part of the team for over ten years and with over 100 stages, he knows everything about the world of Sevens. It's not just a match, you know the referees, the captains, the opponents, the airports and the hotels and this makes everything easier for everyone. A very important player for the team.

Luciano Gonzalez, one of the best players in the world in his position

7. Finally, the confidence of the team and its components. It's nice to see them playing and being the best doesn't seem to affect them, or at least so far it hasn't been the case. They no longer come into tournaments as an average team, but rather a great team to beat. This means that others prepare differently because they know that to beat them they have to do more, but so far the team is continuing at a steady pace and is one of the strong favorites to compete for a medal at the Paris Olympics. Games.Great goal.

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Amber Cross

"Music buff. Unapologetic problem solver. Organizer. Social media maven. Web nerd. Incurable reader."

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