It is the calm before the storm, some 60 hours before Argentina kicks off its 2015 Rugby World Cup campaign against New Zealand on Sunday. Los Pumas coach Daniel Hourcade put his players through their paces at their training base on Thursday ahead of the big clash. Captain Agustin Creevy was working hard with the players as they practiced their structures, skills, lineout calls and backline moves.
Argentine winger Juan Imhoff will be playing in his second World Cup and says the South Americans are slightly nervous ahead of the All Blacks Test: ‘We are very, very anxious, but I think the team is good and we are having a great week of training. Now it’s time to drop that anxiety, have positive thoughts and rest easy because we did everything as well as we could to get well prepared to debut against New Zealand.’
Every player has his own way of dealing with pressure. Imhoff says: ‘It’s a very difficult issue before a match. You can try to think about something else, analysing things that we worked on with our coaches but from another perspective, the group is great at rallying around each other.’
Hourcade’s men kick off against the Kiwis in what is expected to be a very difficult match. New Zealand has been spoken of as being the best team on the planet in any sport with just three defeats in the last three years. Imhoff says he and his teammates have been working hard for this clash: ‘We know they are the best in the world and for that we have to focus on our game and not make any mistakes. We have to try and make no mistakes. We expect a great match, against the best team in the world and it could be an amazing day. Against these teams you just cannot afford to relax and it serves you to be mentally prepared and know that the requirement of this match will be high.’