Final minutes in Marseille. There are 360 seconds left until the buzzer sounds at the Stade Vélodrome. louis Rees-Zammit He goes straight to Argentina’s goal to give Wales the lead again in an electric quarter-final of the Rugby World Cup in France. It seems inevitable. For everyone… Except for Matías Moroni.
The Pumas back runs to put out the fire and reaches the edge of the tackle to stop the Red Dragons’ tryman. He didn’t get to use his hands. He used every part of his humanity. but in the end it was a knock. A slap on the back that took the Welsh wing off the field. A slap in the face that saved the four years’ work of a group of players. A slap in the face that enters the gallery of feat-like plays that make Argentine sport epic.
Matías Moroni is 32 years old and is one of the most experienced of the Los Pumas squad that led Michael Cheika to this World Cup that has already reached historic heights. Yes, Argentina is a semi-finalist again. Thanks to Boffelli’s kicks and Sclavi and Sánchez’s tries, but essentially thanks to that tackle from the man trained in CUBA who these days is shining in Leicester Tigers
Moroni’s incredible play to prevent Rees-Zammit’s try. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)
“My family, my club, my friends”, as he himself said, gave him the impetus to take that Welsh gazelle off the field. For him it was just another move. It was what he had to do. For sports fans, however, it was transformed into a postcard (in the form of a meme, of course) that immediately takes them to December 18, 2022, when Emiliano Martínezthe Dibu, put his left tibia to save Argentina from the execution of Randal Color in the 122nd minute of the World Cup final in Qatar.
Yes, the slap on the head was on par with the shin strike from the Mar del Plata goalkeeper, which is considered by many to be the most transcendental save in history. The most memorable travel to the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. Yes, because Emanuel Ginobili was one of those who inaugurated that gallery of stainless plays of Argentine sport of the 21st century with that little pigeon to beat Serbia at the debut of the competition. It was the signal that Ruben Magnano’s team needed to know that the wound from Indianapolis 2002 was closed and that the path to gold was possible.
Maybe that slap in the back is also a sign. Nothing is impossible. Now the semi-final is coming. It will be for Moroni and company the moment of cross the Rubicon and surpass the feats of 2007 and 2015 to take Argentine rugby to the final on October 28.
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