Iguazu Falls, Perito Moreno Glacier, Plaza de Mayo, all places to visit while you are in Argentina. Make sure you pack some good condiments because they have some amazing cuts of beef as well if you are an aficionado of the rump. Hold on, hold on, let’s put away the Lonely Planet guide because that’s right, we are here to win a game, aren’t we?
Not one of the Wallabies have played in Argentina. In fact, until the recent Test on the Gold Coast, captain Nathan Sharpe was the only player to face the blue and white jersey of the Pumas. The Wallabies will be taking the field today in an incredibly tough environment to play rugby, Rosario.
The deal about when you play in Argentina is you can get caught up in all the trimmings. The first time the passport is stamped in South America may seem a good chance to see some of the sights. We heard from the Wallabies as they were leaving South Africa for Argentina that they knew what to expect and how they had prepared the best they can.
Tim Horan used to say to us before we took the field, ”Don’t be shocked at the pace and physicality of the game.” The same has to be said when you step into a country like Argentina. Don’t be fooled by the jovial atmosphere and the friendly environment because very quickly it can turn.
The Wallabies go into this game licking their wounds from a comprehensive loss to the Springboks last weekend and it’s not going to be any easier today. Where the Wallabies fell down last week was their inability to build pressure. Too many times this year the valve has been released. The goal for the game today is to play ”keep the ball”. They found out on the Gold Coast that the Pumas have an innate ability to attack that can’t be underestimated. One of the barriers the Wallabies will encounter is generating momentum.
Kurtley Beale at five-eighth is the key to keep the structure in the game and then conjure some kind of spark that will lift the side. The difficult part about adding the spark with the ball in hand is that if you have to defend for long periods of time, it saps so much energy you have little to throw at the opposition.
I mentioned structure and what role it will play in producing a victory in Rosario, and it’s imperative it comes from the forwards. New combinations will have a big pack taking the field this morning. Sitaleki Timani, Kane Douglas and hopefully a fit Radike Samo, are very good ball carriers who can make an impact close around the rucks but also importantly on the width … but don’t go there too early. That reference to structure is about winning the contest up front and allowing a right of passage of sorts to then play expansive rugby.
I know in the back of my mind I am looking forward to the final Test in Brisbane but today is about saving face. Even the All Blacks have predicted Argentina will upset the Wallabies, and if that is not enough motivation to get you up for a game, nothing is. Mind you they have the luxury to play the mind games as they have secured the Bledisloe Cup and the inaugural Rugby Championship.
I am looking forward to the debutant Nick Cummins having a run. I have been a fan for a while. I like the way he runs very aggressively with the ball and always shows enthusiasm. He will complement his opposite more experienced winger, Digby Ioane, and their ability to pop up and have an impact will be crucial for Australia.
Having been on the end of defeats throughout the tournament, except for the draw with the Springboks, the Pumas would love nothing more than to finish with a win on home soil. It’s a big opportunity for them against a depleted and perhaps under-confident Wallabies, but if there is one thing that happens when you pull on the gold jersey, it is the desire to play for the history, your country, your family and finally you. Make a mark today, boys, and finish this tournament well.
Twitter [email protected]
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.