Sport Rugby

Friday 17 November 2017

Pumas pumped up to go out with a bang

If Argentina are to beat Australia and finish with a victory in their first Rugby Championship, they must emulate the 2007 Pumas.

Argentina suffered a crushing loss to South Africa in their World Cup semi-final in Paris but picked themselves up to earn third place with a resounding win against hosts France.

The Pumas are looking for a balanced performance against the Wallabies in Rosario having conceded seven tries in a mauling by New Zealand last weekend.

Argentina, buoyed by good performances in their narrow away losses to New Zealand and Australia, believed they could benefit from a more expansive game against the All Blacks.

"We tried to play, but our defence sustains us. They succeeded in taking advantage of our mistakes," captain Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe said.

"We want to finish (the tournament) in the best possible way.

"We're playing the world's third best team at home so it's a great opportunity."

An extra incentive for the Pumas will be to provide a winning send-off for prop Rodrigo Roncero, a veteran of the 2007 team who announced on Thursday it would be his last match.

"My career has been extremely positive. I'm just missing the plum of beating one of the three powers (New Zealand, South Africa and Australia)," the 35-year-old said. "The Pumas jersey gave me some of the best moments in my life."

Australia, ravaged by injuries and licking the wounds of their 31-8 loss to South Africa in Pretoria last weekend that secured second place for the Springboks behind the Kiwis, want to spoil the party.

"They will look to take us on physically as a pack," said coach Robbie Deans . "Our selections are reflective of what we expect from them."

Argentina v Australia,

Live, Sky Sports 1, 00.10

Irish Independent

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