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Sometimes, the impossible happens. The unexpected comes true. The incredible is true. Something like that happened exactly 30 years ago, when an amateur rugby club beat a world power of that sport. On July 14, 1990, Banco Nación faced the England national team and achieved a triumph that would go down in history.
Back then, when a foreign team arrived in the country to compete against Los Pumas , it was customary to play a match against the last champion club of the UAR. That was how the Banco Nación club, which had been a champion in 1989, had before it the great challenge of facing a team as powerful as the English national team was. The place chosen to play the match was the José Amalfitani stadium of the Vélez Sarsfield club, in Liniers (City of Buenos Aires).
It was the first time that a team from Great Britain played in Argentina after the Falkland War . On that tour, the English did not achieve good results: after the humiliating defeat to Banco Nación, they lost to the Buenos Aires team and Cuyo's. When they had to face Los Pumas, they had a victory and a defeat. Back then, England was a power , as it is even today. But, apparently, the blow that meant losing against an amateur team impacted on their confidence and, as a consequence, the team's performance and the results obtained.
The Banco Nación team counted among its soldiers an emblem of the club and Los Pumas: Hugo Porta . The development of the match was very even. But the Argentines did not shrink and faced the monster with courage and heart . Porta made 21 stitches, through two drops and five penalties. Gentile and Aguja Gómez made the tries (which at that time awarded four points) that gave final shape to the scoreboard: 29-21.
After the match, both teams met at the Banco Nación club to share the third time. It was then that William Carling , the British captain, asked for the floor to congratulate his rivals. And he said, “Be sure that this, that we win a club, is never going to happen to an English national team again.”
And he was right. Never again did an English team play a match against a club. The wound on pride was deep. That is why the feat remained for the big history of the club. That's why today, July 14, is Rugby Day at Banco Nación.
Publication Date: 14/07/2020
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