Saturday 8th January, Pamplona
OLAIZOLA II – BEGINO beat BENGOETXEA VI – PATXI RUIZ 22-16
In a tough encounter of 72 minutes and 692 balls, Aimar Olaizola and Aritz Begino battled their way past Oinatz Bengoetxea and Patxi Ruiz. On paper, this was a hard match to call, and was indeed close in the opening stages. The difference between the pairs lay in the backs, where Begino was far superior to Ruiz, who left Bengoetxea with little room for attack. Given the disparity behind him, a solid Olaizola was rarely forced into top gear as he and Begino moved beyond their opponents with eventual ease. Next week they face Irujo, assuming he is fit, and Merino II, serving up the always tantilising prospect of a clash between the two greatest forwards of our day.
Image from Gara (Imanol OTEGI/ARGAZKI PRESS)