Sifani had changed their line-up – the New Zealand international John Paul Clarkin replacing Jeronimo del Carril, making them a 22-goal team and this quartet looked like they were going to cause a major upset to the form on the first
day of the tournament. Guillermo Terrera scored first for Sifani and Julian de Lusarreta and Clarkin followed up this show of strength, taking the score to 5-0 to Sifani at the end of the first chukka. Of course a class team like King Power are rarely out of the frame for long and it was their turn to dominate in the second, with goals from Top Srivaddhanaprbha and Facundo Pieres closing the gap to 5-4 to Sifani at the end of that chukka.
King Power Foxes gradually pulled away in the remaining chukkas, with all the team, including the young Englishman Charles Cooney, finding the flags. Sifani always kept them in sight though, thanks to some continuous goal scoring from last year’s Cartier Most Valuable Player Julian de Lusarreta and Sifani has signalled with this game that they are a team to be reckoned with in 2017.
In the 2nd day La Indiana captures the win against Monterosso 14-10 and RH Polo with Adolfo Cambiaso plays the 1st match vs Murus Sanctus winning by 14-10
Last year’s runners-up started their 2017 campaign strongly, with Michael Bickford’s La Indiana never looking in danger in this game. They were 8-3 up at half-time and retained their advantage in the second half to win the match. Bazzoni’s team, playing in the high-goal at Guards Polo Club for the first time and centred around the Toccalino brothers, did find their feet in the second half, scoring more goals than their rivals. Although with La Indiana’s commanding lead Bickford’s boys could have been forgiven if they took their foot off the accelerator just a bit in the latter stages of this game, knowing that they have both the pony power and the players – the partnership of Agustin Merlos and Nic Roldan is known to be effective – to turn up the heat again if needed.
Not surprisingly all eyes were on RH Polo in this match, with the World’s Number One playing for Ben Soleimani for the first time after more than a decade with the Dubai Polo team. However, Murus Sanctus, patroned by Corinne Ricard, the only lady player in this year’s tournament, were very much in contention from the first whistle. Despite not scoring at all in the second, Murus Sanctus, featuring the latest member of the 10-goal club, Hilario Ulloa, were only down by two goals (7-5) at half time. RH Polo did the damage in the fourth chukka though, firing through four more goals to none in reply from Murus Sanctus. At this level goals are vital and although Murus Sanctus scored five further goals in the final two chukkas it was not enough to peg back RH.
Prof. Paola Maldonado Journalist
News: Guards PoloClub Press
PH: La Dolfina Polo Team