The Pumas, faced with the unprecedented chance of winning the Three Nations: what results do they need?

The Argentine national team would be consecrated, for example, if they tie the games against the All Blacks and the Wallabies. But there are other scenarios to analyze.

After the historic triumph against the All Blacks in the debut and the also creditable draw against the Wallabies in their second game, Los Pumas were tied with their two rivals in the standings of the Three Nations 2020. With two dates to go, the three teams have six points, but those led by Mario Ledesma played one game less than the New Zealanders and Australians. That small advantage invites you to dream of a possibility that seemed utopian: the blue and white team, champion of the tournament.

The Pumas will face New Zealand in Newcastle next Saturday at 5.45 am and seven days later, at the same time, they will collide with Australia in Sydney. The eventual results of these two matches open a range of possibilities regarding the outcome of the contest, which this year, due to the pandemic, South Africa did not play. Nothing is said and the Argentines depend on themselves to get the title for the first time.

There are two very clear scenarios. If Argentina loses both games, it will not be able to lift the trophy. And if he wins them, he will be a champion. But there are another series of combinations of results that could end with a celebration of the South American team.

For example, the national team will be champion if it wins one match and draws the other, regardless of which rivals it achieves each result against. A victory (4) and a draw (2) would leave Los Pumas with 12 units. The losing team against the Argentines would be left with 6. And the other would add two and reach eight.

It would even reach to equal the two games to take over the title. Thus, the Argentine team would add four more points (two for each tie) and would reach ten. His rivals would take two each, would be left with eight and with no chance of reaching it.

What will happen if you win one game and lose the other? In that case, the Argentines would be even in the table with another team and bonus points would play an important role, which could break that equity.

With a victory against Australia and a fall against New Zealand, the Pumas would reach ten points, as would the All Blacks, and the Wallabies would be left with six. Those led by Ledesma would have to add the two extra points (the offensive against the Australians, which would imply scoring three or more tries than their rivals, and the defensive, for losing by a difference of seven or less in the other match) to ensure title. Thus they would end up with 12 points and the New Zealanders, who could get only one bonus, would add a maximum of eleven.

If they get only one of those two bonuses, they would have to hope that New Zealand does not add theirs (that is, that they do not score three or more tries against Los Pumas) to lift the title.

In the event that Argentines and New Zealanders end up equal in points, the tournament format indicates that it was necessary to resort first to the number of victories – there would be two for each – and the results of the matches between them – one win per side -; so the parity would be broken by the point difference and ultimately the most tries. Today, Los Pumas have a difference of +10 and only one try; while the All Blacks accumulate +26 and eleven tries.

If at the end of the tournament, Argentina beats New Zealand and loses to Australia, in the first instance the same thing would happen as in the previous case. The Pumas and the Wallabies would add ten units and would weigh the bonuses again. Although if the table finally indicates that Argentines and Australians end up with the same number of points, the title would go to the oceanic.

Why? It happens that the two would be left with the same record – two wins, a draw and a loss – and we would have to look at the matches between them. With a draw in the second presentation against Los Pumas and the hypothetical victory on the final date, Australia would take a small advantage, without having to calculate differences in points and tries, and would shout champion.

With two games to play, Los Pumas have a range of possible outcomes ahead of them to be crowned champions for the first time in the tournament that brings together the powers of the Southern Hemisphere. It is difficult, of course. But it all depends on them.

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