The coach of the forwards of the Argentine team loves the franchise. "The defeat against England hurt us and touched us in our pride," said Andres Bordoy after the severe disappointment that the Pumas experienced on September 9 when they entered this Rugby World Cup (10-27). A defeat conceded against an English team yet quickly reduced to 14.
This former pillar, passed in France by the clubs of Brive, La Rochelle and Pau, added that the self-criticism was always positive, highlighting the many sectors in which the Argentines have failed against the English. Pumas who thought they could dominate a XV of the Rose given moribund, especially after their feat achieved in November 2022 at Twickenham where they had beaten England (30-29).
The scenario was quite different in Marseille and the Argentines need to redeem themselves for their second match of this competition, this time against Samoa, Friday, September 22. A duel that will take place again in a city of football more than rugby, as noted by the special envoy of the daily La Nacion who describes the frescoes in tribute to the legendary Oswaldo Piazza, an Argentine defender who wore the colors of AS Saint-Étienne between 1972 and 1979.
Tourist outings have not occupied the Pumas much in recent days as the pressure is great for this team that has great ambitions in this competition. It finds itself in a pool D which can allow it to consider quite easily a qualification in the quarter-finals. But it must absolutely eliminate its opponent of the day, Samoa, who are in the world ranking in 11th place, just behind Argentina.
The Pumas rely on experience
The confrontation at the Geoffroy-Guichard stadium in Saint-Étienne promises to be very physical in view of the islander players selected for this World Cup. Against Chile on September 16, the Samoans were able to take advantage of their physical advantage to put their opponent to the trouble and win easily (43-10) at the end of a second half of good level. But they know that their South American opponent of the day will be much more formidable this time.
The two teams have already crossed paths three times in World Cups, always in the group stage, with a record of two victories for Samoa (in 1991 and 1995) and one for Argentina in 1999. Very old meetings that do not really allow to imagine the scenario of the meeting in Saint-Etienne and to predict its outcome.
The Pumas made three changes from the team that lost to England. Two are due to injuries, with second row Guido Petti replacing Tomas Lavanini and prop Eduardo Bello taking the place of Francisco Gomez Kodela who will still be on the bench. The third change has more to do with the need to rely on experienced players in the back lines with the start of Matias Moroni in place of the young Lucio Cinti. Nicolas Sanchez and Tomas Cubelli, both 34, will be among the "finishers" called to return during the match, as will the dean Agustin Creevy, 38, the first Argentine player to have crossed the 100-cap mark.
¡Historia pura! 🇦🇷
Con el ingreso de Agustín Creevy ante Sudáfrica, se convirtió en el primer jugador argentino en alcanzar los 100 partidos con la camiseta de Los Pumas.
¡Felicitaciones, Agus! 👏🏻 #Creevy100 | @agustincreevy pic.twitter.com/2J07batKvi
— Los Pumas (@lospumas) August 5, 2023
Argentina is therefore expecting to fight a tough fight and it is counting on its senior players to pocket a victory that will allow it to relaunch itself in this World Cup. She has wonderful memories of the 2007 edition, already organized in France, which allowed her to win an unprecedented third place in the world. And she dreams of qualifying for the finals and crossing paths with the XV of France to try to play a bad trick, as in the final of the football World Cup in 2022.
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