La Indiana rolled to another victory Thursday in the 2017 Jaeger-LeCoultre Gold Cup, besting El Remanso 11-9. It was an entertaining matchup between teams who both play a fast-paced offensive paced game.
Merlos tied the game at 5 at the end of the first half. The fifth chukka was the best example that polo is really a game of horses. Players from both teams came out on speedsters: Nic Roldan on one of his recent purchases, “Miriam,” and Ollie Cudmore on “Rosita,” his BPP from the 2017 Cartier Queen’s Cup semifinal.
The game was effectively decided in the fourth and fifth chukkas, with La Indiana shooting 71.4 % (5/7) to El Remanso’s 20.0% (1/5) over that span.
La Indiana always move fast, centering their push around Tincho Merlos and Roldan. In this game, however, La Indiana seemed to use Merlos more individually, and we saw less of Roldan than usual throughout the game. Merlos—always a high scorer and an efficient shooter—made 5 goals from the field (71.4%), while Roldan had 1. The latter may have been a result of El Remanso’s tenacious defense strategy, which was laser-focused on corralling Roldan. Merlos could have contributed additional goals, but he subbed out in the sixth with a hand injury and was replaced by Pite Merlos (La Indiana coach and his brother).
La Indiana’s Luke Tomlinson was more open than normal and drove downfield attacking goal. He finished with 3 goals, which is a good output for him, as he has been staying back for the most part during the season.
El Remanso always use good team passing and mount a balanced attack, and they stayed with that formula Thursday. Their scoring was evenly distributed, with all four players contributing to the tally: 2 goals each for Charlie Hanbury, James Harper and Cudmore, and 3 for James Beim. They held La Indiana without a penalty attempt for the entire game, which saw only 10 combined fouls.
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Gold Cup resumes Saturday with two games: RH Polo v. Sommelier at noon and Murus Sanctus v. Monterosso at 3 p.m.
Photography by Snoopy Productions
All 2017 Gold Cup games are being live streamed on pololine.tv.
Complete tournament schedule and daily game locations can be found here.