Rugby Championship

Pumas know they must step up

2012-08-26 17:28
Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe (AFP)

Mendoza - Argentina's 16-16 draw with South Africa represents a huge step forward for the Pumas - but they want even better results in the new Rugby Championship according to captain Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe.

The performance was confirmation that it was not a mistake to bring Argentina into the major annual competition they had lacked, expanding the Tri-nations into a four-team tournament.

The Pumas are not blinded, though, by the result and are fully aware that playing world champions New Zealand away next requires another big step up.

But then Argentine rugby has for more than a decade taken big strides forward from their first Rugby World Cup quarter-final in 1999 with a third place finish in 2007 to their credit.

"It's good what we achieved but this team wants to improve," said Fernandez Lobbe.

"Everyone saw our disappointed faces when the match ended. It's true we'll remember this match all our lives, but we like to win and victory slipped away by very little," he told reporters.

Argentina were a quarter of an hour from beating South Africa for the first time when centre Frans Steyn charged down a kick and scored the try that salvaged the draw with Morné Steyn's conversion.

Spectators at the packed Malvinas Argentinas Stadium or watching at home on television could see South Africa were not playing well, mired in Argentina's "European type of game" as coach Heyneke Meyer put it.

Meyer said his team could play much better, and had done so at Newlands the previous Saturday, but Argentina sought to play in the Springboks half and succeeded for long spells especially in the first half when they scored 13 of their points.

"We had promised ourselves that this would be a day to remember," Fernandez Lobbe said.

Argentina thrived on home advantage, always important to the Pumas in building a formidable reputation since the amateur days not so far back, and correction of errors made in their 27-6 debut defeat by the Springboks a week earlier.

"In two weeks' time we have to take another step forward," Fernandez Lobbe added. The Pumas face the All Blacks in Wellington on September 8.

Coach Santiago Phelan was less outwardly emotional at his news conference about a day reporters and fans talked of as historic.

"The result is positive beyond the fact we could have won the match. We work to improve our game and the result comes as a consequence - We try to take a step forward every time we play," Phelan said.

Read more on:    argentina  |  springboks  |  rugby championship  |  rugby


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk


Quiz: Test your Rio Olympics memory!

Think you know what went on at the Rio Olympics? Prove it by tackling Sport24's ridiculously impossible yet highly addictive post-Games quiz!


Rio Olympics

GALLERY: SA's Rio Olympic medallists
As it happened: Rio Olympics - Day 17
Selecting 6 numbers turned Britain into Olympic superpower
Caster cranks up the heat in Rio semi
10 September 2016
New Zealand v Argentina, Hamilton 09:35
Australia v South Africa, Brisbane 12:05
17 September 2016
New Zealand v South Africa, Addington, Christchurch 09:35
Australia v Argentina, Perth 12:05
01 October 2016
South Africa v Australia, Pretoria 17:05
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Who would you like to see start at flyhalf for the Boks in their next Rugby Championship clash against the Wallabies in Brisbane?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


Follow all the action from the 2016 Rio Olympics. The highs, the lows, the tears, the smiles as the world's greatest athletes compete for gold, silver and bronze.

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.