Final leg of The Triple Crown
As the dust has barely settled on the grounds at The Hurlingham Club the teams will already be preparing for the final tournament in the Argentine Triple Crown, the 123rd edition of the HSBC Argentine Open. Ellerstina, fresh from their win will play La Irenita on Sunday 13 November, which after their form against La Dolfina should be like playing chilled Sunday afternoon chukkas. Adolfo Cambiaso and his team of 10 goalers only have until tomorrow to get back in the saddle after the end of their winning streak and shock defeat. They will also have an easy start to the tournament as they are scheduled to play Cría Yatay, one of the weaker teams in the tournament.
The list of title holders for The Argentine Open has become something of Shakespearean tragedy, dominated by the two houses of Cambiaso and Pieres for over a decade. La Dolfina have managed to hold consecutive wins, but this is never a feat achieved by Ellerstina to date. The tournament itself has been juggled around by the AAP increasing the number of games played from seven to 11 amongst the entries with mixed opinions from all involved. There is no denying that there are probably only four teams that are competitive enough to produce decent games; Alegría, El Paraíso, Ellerstina and La Dolfina. The lower handicapped entrants, as per their form in The Hurlingham Open look set to be destroyed in the rounds with these teams. Rather like the lower seeded players in Wimbledon, with an unknown up-and-coming player who meets a top world ranked player in the opening rounds, they might get a few match points but it’s never a given unless something goes seriously wrong they aren’t going to knock out last year’s winner.
The theory for the AAP to keep the team entries buoyant at this level is a good one, it equally wouldn’t look good if all three Triple Crown tournaments only had four teams enter.
How the Argentine Open games are organised for 2016:
Each Zone will be played to the American style tournament format. The highest-ranked team of each zone will go directly to a Semi Final. The second and third placed team of each zone will play Quarter Finals by crossing Zone A and Zone B.
Saturday 12 November – Zone A
C2 – La Dolfina vs Cría Yatay (1)
C1 – Alegría vs Washington (2)
Sunday 13 November – Zone B
C2 – Ellerstina vs La Irenita (3)
C1 – La Aguada Las Monjitas vs El Paraíso (4)
Saturday 19 November – Zone B
C2 – Winner 2 vs Loser 1
C1 – Winner 1 vs Loser 2
Sunday 20 November – Zone B
C2 – Winner 4 vs Loser 3
C1 – Winner 3 vs Loser 4
Monday 22 November – Zone A
C2 – Loser 1 vs Loser 2
C1 – Winner 1 vs Winner 2
Wednesday 23 November – Zone B – Copa Omint
C2 – Loser 3 vs Loser 4
C1 – Winner 3 vs Winner 4
Saturday 26 November – Quarter Final 1
C1 – 2nd Zone A vs 3rd Zone B
Sunday 27 November – Quarter Final 2 – Copa La Nación
C1 – 2nd Zone B vs 3rd Zone A
Saturday 3 December – Semi Final 1
C1 – Copa Mercedes-Benz
Winner Zone A vs. Winner Quarter Final 2
Sunday 4 December – Semi Final 2
C1 – Copa Stella Artois
Winner Zone B vs. Winner Quarter Final 1
Saturday 10 December – Final – Copa HSBC
C1 – Winner Semi Final 1 vs Winner Semi Final 2
To stay up to date with the scores, team lists and tournament results click here.
Photograph: La Dolfina on the 2015 Argentine Open winners podium. By©www.imagesofpolo.com