With the win against Tonga in the bag, Argentina is now preparing for its final Rugby World Cup Pool C match against Namibia in Leicester. For Daniel Hourcade’s troops, today was a day of rest and recovery. The regenerative work in the swimming pool was the only activity beyond a few players visiting the kinesiologist with some discomfort which is normal the day after a game. Los Pumas also spent the day analysing the errors made against the Tongans in the hope of improving against the Welwitschias.
Member of the coaching staff Raul Perez says: ‘We are happy because yesterday’s result was crucial, because it leaves us almost in the quarter-finals. In turn, the team continues to show the intention to play, which is already our trademark. It is good that we always have something to correct which means we continue to evolve. I think we have lowered the amount of penalties we concede, which is positive, and now we must try to be more aggressive on defence, because we will need to recover the ball, and have more options with that ball to do what we want, which is to attack.’ The Argentines need just one point to confirm their presence in the quarter-finals, or otherwise the Sea Eagles must lose to New Zealand.
Despite the really good chance of the latter taking place anyway, Perez is not counting any chickens: ‘The maturity of the team means we will not relax and we will face the next game with the same intensity as the previous ones. We knew we were good, but before you actually play, there is always the uncertainty of how things will go. We were anxious to get to this point, as it was our goal. As always, once you meet a goal, always you want more, but we were eager to go for more. It will good for Argentina to be among the best eight teams in the world again.’
Photo credit: UAR/Rodrigo Vergara