NATIONS CUP: ARGENTINA, COLOMBIA
Ten-goalers Sapo Caset and Juan Martín Nero led Argentina to a 13-8 win over Colombia on day two of the IX Copa de las Naciones (Nations Cup) on Friday, April 27 in Palermo. North America also entered a team in the 26-goal tournament, losing two games Wednesday on opening day (13-8 to Argentina and to 15-2 to Colombia). Saturday’s final (Argentina v. Colombia) was postponed due to rain.
Team handicaps: Argentina 26, Colombia 24, United States 23. Rosters: Argentina (JM Nero 10, Sapo Caset 10, Manuel Astrada 2, Rufino Bensadon 4). Colombia (Federico Uribe 6, Juan Esteban Uribe 6, Martín Huertas 6, Felipe Marquez 6). North America (Fred Mannix 9, Nicolás Escobar 3, Jesse Bray 5, Fred Mannix, Jared Zenni 6). Escobar subbed for Canadian Julian Mannix, who was out with a back injury.
Argentina has won the Nations Cup six times. Chile won in 2016 and England in 2014. This is the first time in recent years that a British team has not participated in the tournament, likely because of levies put on British players by the Argentine Polo Association.
ESPN EVOLUTION CUP TESTS NEW RULES
The semifinals of the ESPN Evolution Cup, contested by teams of 28 to 34 goals, took place Thursday, April 26, in Argentina. La Aguada Lavinia defeated Pilará Black Label 16-12. Las Praderas took a 17-11 victory over La Virgencita. Seven-goaler Salvador Ulloa led the scoring for La Aguada Lavinia with seven goals. Agustín Merlos (8-goal handicap) made six goals for Las Praderas. The final is set for today in Palermo.
The ESPN Evolution Cup is a new tournament created by the Argentine Polo Association with the Argentine Association of Polo Players (AAJP) in order to evaluate several new rules. Among the new rules are the number of personal fouls per player, the goal worth double if the shot is outside the 80-yard line, the change of direction directly in the middle of the game and limitations on the number of horses.
CASET PLAYS FIRST TIME EVER IN BRAZIL
Ten-goalers Sapo Caset and Pelón Stirling have been playing in Brazil, along with Facundo Sola (9 goals) and Ignatiues Du Plessis (8). It was Caset’s first time ever playing in Brazil. The last time an outstanding Argentine player traveled to Brazil to play was in the year 2000, when the Heguy family competed.
“This was my first time in Brazil, and it was a lot of fun,” said Caset. “The people are very considerate and kind. I was pleasantly surprised by the level of polo there, by the club, the fields, the private grounds, everything was first-class.”
Three matches took place in the All Pro Polo League 2018 World Tour, played at Helvetia Polo Club, Indaiatuba, Brazil. Team handicaps ranged from 17 to 33. Caset played for two teams in different matches: Toca do Gato in the 18-goal and Sao Jose in the 33.
The game between Sao Jose and Sao Martinho ended 13-10 in favor of Caset’s team, Sao Jose. In the high-goal match, Caset and Du Plessis teamed up with Pedrinho Zacharias and Willian Rodrigues, both local 7-goal players. They opposed Sola and Stirling, whose teammates were João Paulo Ganon and Olavo Novaes (7).
Photography: Matias Calléjo
Article by: Darlene Ricker