From The Spotter
Hugo Porta. Now there was a superstar of a code if ever there was one; Argentinian Rugby’s Diego Maradona. France’s famous flyhalf Pierre Albaladejo was ‘Monsieur Drop’, but Porta was surely the Lord of the drop kick.
Playing against the All Blacks (albeit without most of their first choice players) at Carisbrook in 1979, Porta nonchalantly potted over two ‘droppies’. The second one being absolute world-class- he had to gather the ball from behind himself and from facing the wrong way, found the time to swivel around and arrow the ball straight between sticks from wide out and thirty metres away. Class.
Fast forward to the second test at Buenos Aires in 1985. The All Blacks scored a couple of great tries, with a young John Kirwan terrorising the relatively tiny opposition left-winger. However the magic Porta kept plonking over his kicks, this time including three drop goals; each one from further out than the previous.
How the All Blacks managed to avoid defeat in that second half was little short of a miracle, though they could probably thank the Pumas number eight Ernesto Ure for being able to scrape a 21-21 draw- Ure fumbling the ball over the goal-line with seconds remaining when he had about the simplest try presented to him in Test Rugby history, with the ball more or less already in the in-goal area. The town drunk could probably have flopped on it and scored. And, as we know, The Pumas still haven’t managed a win over the All Blacks. Mr. Ure must be getting more desperate to see this eventuate with his every passing year.
So, will the elusive victory happen tomorrow morning? Thanks to the Pumas’ ‘twenty-fourth squad member’ Aaron Cruden, they stand a better chance than they otherwise may have had. Yeah, nice one Aaron- she better have been worth it mate…