FINAL OF THE HUBLOT POLO GOLD CUP SUNDAY AT 3 P.M. AGUERRE AND LAPLACETTE WILL BATTLE IT OUT!

21 Aug 2023
Two very heated semi-finals, not only because of the generous Alpine sunshine, but also because of the intensity of the two games played in front of an even bigger crowd than last Thursday. These semi-finals have delivered their verdict: the final of the Hublot Polo Gold Cup 2023 will see the Hublot and Gstaad teams go head-to-head.

At the start of the afternoon, the defending champions once again proved that the phenomenal Raul Laplacette, scorer of another 5 goals today, is at the heart of a perfectly oiled team. The understanding between the Argentinian pillar and his two sidekicks Francisco Fucci and Facundo Kelly was more than perfect. Powerful teamwork that got the better of Kielder Agro Group, who held on for two chukkers before being outflanked in the third period by Gstaad.

Team Gstaad will now meet Team Hublot in the final. Although on Thursday, when the two teams already met, the players of Frenchman Sébastien Le Page (Gstaad) got the better of the quartet formed by German captain Jürgen Schröder (Hublot), this in no way predicts what the final will be like (Sunday at 3 p.m.). This time, the stakes and the context will be completely different. Playing for the first time here, Martincito Aguerre discovered this particular field only on Thursday. Now he knows how to handle it. After analyzing the game of his direct opponent, Raul Laplacette, who gave him a rough time on Thursday, he is more confident for Sunday. “Raul is my kind of opponent, confirms the Argentine 7-goaler. Our team didn’t know each other very well, some of the horses were new and, above all, the field is new. It’s a different kind of polo, closer to rugby (laughs). The aim was to have fun, have a good time, and what’s more, we­­’re in the final! This place is extraordinary – I’ve never seen anything like it!

His captain, Jürgen Shröder, is also discovering this very special tournament, and made no secret of his delight at finding himself in the final with a team assembled in just a few weeks: “Of all the tournaments I’ve seen, for me this is the best in Europe, if not the world. I don’t see how it could get any better. Great sport, a beautiful event, I’m delighted. Today’s game was very intense, with everyone playing for a place in the final. Everyone was on fire and the players gave it their all. It was very tense, and at times a little heated too.”

Will Martin Aguerre and his teammates find the key to success against a tested opponent where the players know each other inside out and are particularly motivated to retain their title? “First of all, we want to savor this victory, tempers the Argentinian. Tomorrow, we’ll be facing the best team, the defending champions. Rauli is a very good player, and here he’s particularly strong, he knows how to play on this field that he knows by heart. His team is very good, it’s a good organization and to succeed in polo, you always need a good organization”.

Has Hublot’s young organization acquired enough reflexes in two days to stand up to Gstaad’s seasoned team? The answer on Sunday afternoon at 3.00 pm.

Before that, the game for the third place will pit Kielder Agro Group against Gstaad Palace at 13:30 p.m.

TWO BEAUTIFUL GAMES, TWO DIFFERENT SCENARIOS

17 Aug 2023

Ideal conditions, a perfect field, glorious sunshine and an already big crowd for the opening day of the Hublot Polo Gold Cup 2023. Two games with a completely different feel. The first match between Gstaad and Hublot was a Raul Laplacette festival, while the second match was an exciting neck-and-neck affair between the reds of Gstaad Palace and the greens of Kielder Agro Group.

Raul Laplacette and his team mates left Gstaad in 2022 with a clear victory in the final. This afternoon, the Argentinian cornerstone seemed to be back in his own garden on the beautiful grass of Gstaad-Saanen airport. He was everywhere: unstoppable in defense, stealing every ball from anyone who wanted to dribble, even from 7-goaler Martin Aguerre Jr., defending his goal with ruthless backs and, above all, scoring five goals, including a backhand golazo from an impossible angle the likes of which can only be seen in Palermo… and in Gstaad! But there is no good player without a good team, and Laplacette is admirably helped by his Argentinian team mates Francisco Fucci and Facundo Kelly. A team that has been “running” together for some time, and that is what made the difference in this first game.

It wasn’t until the last seven seconds and a 60-yard penalty goal from Argentina’s Pedro Fernandez Llorente that the winner of the very tight second game was decided: Gstaad Palace. Yet their opponents, Kielder Agro Group, were quite competitive as well with captain Cedric Schweri from Switzerland being particularly brilliant, scoring two goals and making numerous decisive defensive moves. Segundo Condesse’s golazo also stood out, escaping from one end of the field to the other yet keeping his cool in front of goal.

Tomorrow, players and horses will be at rest. Well, not quite, because they will be out and about in the streets of Gstaad for the traditional, colorful team parade starting at 4 p.m. A moment when polo meets Swiss traditions in a good-natured atmosphere.

The semi-finals on Saturday will pit Gstaad against Kielder Agro Group (1:30 p.m.) and Gstaad Palace against Hublot (3:00 p.m.).

Teams and progressions :

GAME 1

Team HUBLOT: Jürgen Schröder (hcp 0), Matias Gonzalez (hcp 4), Martin Aguerre Jr. (hcp 7, 4 goals of which 3 penalities)

Team GSTAAD: Sébastien Le Page (hcp 0), Facundo Kelly (hcp 4, 2 goals), Francisco Fucci (hcp 4, 4 goals), Raul Laplacette (hcp 6, 5 goals of which 1 penalty)

Progression GSTAAD: 4/0 – 6/2 – 7/4 – 11/4

MVP R&B Presse : Raul Laplacette

GAME 2

Team GSTAAD PALACE: Peter Cromm (hcp 0), Segundo Condesse (hcp 4, 5 goals), Teo von Neufforge (hcp 5), Pedro Fernandez Llorente (hcp 5, 3 goals of which 2 penalities)

Team KIELDER AGRO GROUP: Cedric Schweri (hcp 0, 2 goals), Joao Novaes (hcp 5, 3 goals), Tomi Astelarra (hcp 3, 2 goals), Francisco Menendez (hcp 6)

 Progression GSTAAD PALACE: 2/3 – 4/5 – 6/5 – 8/7

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