Australian coach’s praise for ‘quality player’ Marcos Moneta after Perth final

There might not be a better player on the SVNS Series than Argentina’s Marcos Moneta. In a competition that boasts so much star power and world-class skill, it’s tough to look past the Argentinian.

Moneta, 23, was part of Argentina’s historic bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics a few years ago, and he’s continued to play a leading role in their rise to SVNS Series stardom.

Argentina sits atop the SVNS Series men’s standings and Moneta is a big reason why. Los Pumas Sevens won Cup finals in Cape Town and Perth, with Moneta receiving Player of the Final honours after the decider in Australia on Sunday.

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The Argentinian, who was nominated for World Rugby’s Sevens Player of the Year in 2023, scored eight tries in Perth including a double in the emphatic win over hosts Australia in the final.

Moneta is a fan favourite among the Los Pumas Sevens’ fans, with the sevens superstar seen giving passionate supporters his socks about 20 minutes after they lifted the trophy.

But Moneta is also well-respected by players and coaches from rival teams. After losing the final on home soil, Australia coach John Manenti was still full of praise for Moneta.

“Him and (the United States’) Perry (Baker) are probably the fastest two on the circuit,” Manenti told reporters on Sunday.

“He gets pace and he’s deadly but he’s got Argentinian soccer skills too, he can kick, he can grubber.

“He’s a quality player.

“Great for Darby (Lancaster) and (Henry) Palms to have to mark him and they’ll be better for the experience, as they were probably in a better game two against Perry Baker.

“They’re good learners and unfortunately you can’t get experience without being out there… you can look at vision but if he’s not the best finisher in the world I don’t know who is.”

Australia are a very good sevens team. They got their 2023/24 season off to a slow start in Dubai, but back-to-back Cup finals in Cape Town and Perth has them up there with the best.

But Argentina are a class above.

Los Pumas Sevens were either running around or through the Australian defensive line in the Perth final, but it’s not like the Aussies were making it easy for them. Argentina are just that good.

Moneta told the show with a double but other players, including Luciano Gonzalez, Rodrigo Isgro and the powerful German Schulz only add to their incredible depth across the park.

“They’ve got (Luciano) Gonzalez who is a wrecking ball in the midfield,” Manenti added. “We were throwing the kitchen sink and him and he kept staying on his feet.

“They’ve got quality players but we’ll just keep working and improving and collectively we’ll mow them down slowly and slowly.”


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