Rugby Championship

Pumas target Cooper-Foley in Wallabies ambush

2016-09-16 14:05
Quade Cooper (Getty Images)

Perth - Argentina plan to target playmakers Bernard Foley and Quade Cooper as they gear up for an ambush win over the Wallabies in their Rugby Championship Test in Perth on Saturday.

Head coach Michael Cheika risked fielding both flyhalves as the Wallabies broke a run of six Test defeats against South Africa in Brisbane last week and the pair hold the key to Australia's attack against the Pumas.

Winger Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino said Argentina, who already have the Springboks scalp in this year's southern hemisphere tournament, are looking to keep Cooper and Foley in check this weekend.

"I think this is the idea, start playing the match and don't give easy points to Australia, put pressure on the key players, Quade Cooper, Foley," Amorosino told reporters on Friday.

"They have two 10s (flyhalves) in their team and they play with really good skills so I think the idea is to put pressure on (those) players.

"Maybe make them feel not so comfortable and after that we take the opportunity to carry the ball as soon as possible."

It is the first time the two nations have met since the Wallabies won 29-15 in a semi-final at last year's World Cup in London.

Amorosino said the Pumas had to ensure their defensive game was spot on to contain the Australians.

"We need to put pressure on Australia to put up a really good defence, so after two or three phases we receive the ball again and we can start playing," he said.

But Amorosino said while defence was a priority, the Pumas would not abandon the running rugby that had them trailing the All Blacks by just two points after 50 minutes in New Zealand last weekend.

The All Blacks stepped it up in the final stages to run away 57-22 winners, scoring eight tries to one.

"Rugby is a mixture, if you've got really good attack and no defence you can't play and then you've got really good defence and no attack you can't play," he said.

"You need to have a mix to have a good match."

Pumas defence coach Pablo Bouza said the Wallabies, with three new backs this year, were a difficult team for which to devise a game plan.

"I don't know if they have so many as New Zealand but they have the skill and the pattern of attack is very good," he said.

"Every match they improve something, they bring something new so it is very difficult for us to study what they're doing.

"They have some different players - Israel Folau is a great, now they are playing with two number 10s, their number nine (scrumhalf Will) Genia is playing really well in the championship.

"It's a very tough team for defence."

The Pumas have only won once in 12 Tests in Australia, but that was back in 1983. They have had three narrow defeats in the Rugby Championship away to the Wallabies.

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01 October 2016
South Africa v Australia, Pretoria 17:05
02 October 2016
Argentina v New Zealand, Buenos Aires 00:10
08 October 2016
South Africa v New Zealand, Durban 17:05
Argentina v Australia, London 20:30
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