Daniel Hourcade (Getty Images)
Gloucester - Argentina coach Daniel
Hourcade insisted his side would keep their feet on the ground after hammering
Georgia 54-9 on Friday to put them on course to reach the Rugby World Cup
Argentina went down 26-16 to champions New
Zealand in their opening game. They are now favourites to qualify as second in
Pool C with two remaining games against Tonga and minnows Namibia.
A tight first-half at Gloucester's
Kingsholm Stadium gave way to a seven-try mauling, with Tomas Lavanini, Tomas
Cubelli, Juan Imhoff (2), Martin Landajo and Santiago Cordero (2) all crossing
for tries as Argentina notched up 40 unanswered second-half points.
Nicolas Sanchez adeptly pulled the strings
at fly-half, opening the scoring with a drop-goal and going on to bag two
penalties and three conversions for a personal tally of 15 points, Marcelo
Bosch also kicking two conversions.
The turning point of the game, played
before a sell-out Argentinian dominated 16,500 crowd came when Georgian skipper
Mamuka Gorgodze was sin binned in the 45th minute. In his absence, Argentina
scored three converted tries to pull clear on the way to their bonus-point
"I'm sure there was no infringement,
there was no penalty there," Gorgodze insisted of his yellow card for
preventing the Pumas quick ball at a ruck on their line.
"I would like to see it again, but the
referee is always right," the giant Toulon No 8 lamented. "We're not
at a high enough level to play two tough games."
Pumas coach Hourcade was left basking in
his side's performance, notably their 40 unanswered second-half points, but
stressed that there is more work to do.
"We gave away many penalties in the
first-half, but managed to show in the second-half how we wanted to play.
"It's nice when you train for
something and get there. We've been improving some aspects of our game: points
of contact points and quick balls to give ourselves chances, and they are now
Hourcade added: "We have our feet on
the ground because we have experiences when we do good things and relax too
Argentina captain Agustin Creevy said the
raucous atmosphere at the packed Kingsholm had played a vital part in their
"Playing in front of 90 000 fans was
amazing," Creevy said in reference to the record crowd at Wembley that
witnessed their defeat by New Zealand.
"It was an unforgettable experience,
but today it was like playing in an Argentinian stadium in front of Argentinian
fans cheering us on!"
Creevy said there had been some home truths
told at the break.
"At halftime lots of things were said
and the suggestion was to play in the second-half," he said.
"The wise words were to relieve the
pressure and relax and do what we do best, play rugby.
"We were more relaxed in good sense of
world, not over confident."
Argentina play Tonga on October 4 and
Namibia on October 11 with both games in Leicester.
Georgia coach Milton Haig now faces the
tough task of gearing his troops up to face the All Blacks at Cardiff's
Millennium Stadium on October 2.
"Next week we play the world champions
and the best team in the world and that's something we've never done,"
said Haig, himself a New Zealander.
"It won't take much to motivate the
boys for that because it's the pinnacle of every player's career to play them
at the World Cup so we have plenty to look forward to."
Haig added: "I just want my team to do
well and to perform to their potential. If they do that, regardless of the
result, I will be happy."