Argentina and Australia are just over 24 hours away from contesting the second Rugby World Cup semi-final at Twickenham on Sunday. Los Pumas are playing in their second World Cup final four fixture after first reaching this stage in 2007 in France when they were beaten by South Africa. The Wallabies are in the semis for the sixth time and are aiming for a third appearance in the final, having won their previous two appearances in the championship-deciding match.
Saturday was captain’s run at Pennyhill Park and Argentine leader Agustin Creevy took care of matters in intermittent drizzle. Ahead of the big match the skipper says: ‘We’re much like last week, perhaps quieter. What we did in the quarter-final was very good. This week has been very hard and we had to rest a little at the start of this week and the players are taking a lot of responsibility which is good. We are in a good space and ready to do battle.’ Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe is about to run out for his 70th cap but says it is not about him but instead the team, who is fully focused on the task at hand: ‘The team is very quiet. It is a very important week for us and we are focused on Sunday’s game, trying to enjoy the moment. Australia is a team that attacks you more in your face and puts you under more pressure. We must be very aggressive on defence and not let them surprise us. They have the best team that manages the game on the floor, with Hooper and Pocock leading in that facet of the game.’
The winner of this clash will meet either South Africa or New Zealand in next week’s final, also to be played at Twickenham.
Photo credit: UAR/Rodrigo Vergara