By Alejandra Ocampo
RS Murus Sanctus is undoubtedly one of the biggest attractions of this atypical polo season in Argentina. Formed of Facundo Sola, Fran Elizalde, Guillermo Caset and Alfredo Cappella, the team sees Corinne Ricard’s French organisation debut in the Triple Crown. Their sights are set on Palermo, but they still have a big challenge ahead of them – the first semifinal of the Hurlingham Open against La Dolfina.
“I think RS Murus Sanctus is doing very well,” shares Sapo Caset. “We had a very good Tortugas Open, we played well in the first match and we played better in the second, but we were unlucky with the last result. I should say that we played better than Ellerstina for most of the match, but we were unable to win it. It was not the result we expected, but the team worked well as a whole.”
In terms of the Hurlingham Open, RS Murus Sanctus had to win a very tough match against Los Machitos to qualify for the semifinal. In the process, Facundo Sola dropped out of the team due to injury. But, the Lobos-born player assures us that Facu has recovered. “He is feeling better and the complete team will play the semifinal,” shares Caset.
How did Sola’s absence affect the team’s performance against Los Machitos?
I think it was our weakest match of the season so far. Lerin [Valerio Zubiaurre] played very well, but it was quite different; I mean, he had to step in from one day to the next, meet the team, the horses, which is something that usually takes time. It was hard for us to maintain our usual performance. We were lucky to win. We had to win that match in order to qualify for the semifinal. It was tough for both us as players and for the horses, but it was OK. These things help you focus for the games ahead. We know that all our opponents are very tough, and we must face the toughest of them all: La Dolfina.”
Both Sapo Caset and Facundo Sola know what it is like to play a semifinal against La Dolfina, especially in the Hurlingham Open. Back in 2017, they formed part of the line-up for Alegria, and they surprised everyone when they beat La Dolfina in a thrilling semifinal that ended in OT.
“We all have high expectations about playing this semifinal,” says Caset. “It is a great opportunity to be able to play against a team like La Dolfina – albeit a different La Dolfina, one without Juan Martín Nero. We want to give our best, play well and win.”
On a personal note, how do you feel about this atypical and short season in Argentina?
It’s strange. It is very different because when we are abroad we are used to playing more often, and that does not happen in Argentina. The time waiting was too long, and now it is going so fast. We’ve just played a quarter final against Los Machitos, and we are about to play the semifinal against La Dolfina! So, you need to be focused and be ready to turn the page quickly and think about what’s coming next. At the moment, we have a very important semifinal ahead; if we win, we will be playing the final in four days time, so there’s not much time to think. The team and the horses have to be strong and ready. It is a very different season, but I am trying to enjoy it as much as I can.