Sunday, July 14, 2024

SPORTS | 14-09-2023 10:09

Pumas' claws will be sharper for Samoa challenge, says Agustín Creevy

The Pumas have the weekend off at the Rugby World Cup but will be keenly watching their next opponents Samoa enter the fray when they face Chile in Bordeaux on Saturday.

Argentina are a strong unit who will bounce back from their disappointing performance in the 27-10 World Cup loss to 14-man England, veteran hooker Agustín Creevy said on Wednesday.

The 38-year-old former captain added the team had been "disappointed" by the listless and ragged display despite playing with an extra man for practically the whole of the Pool D match.

The Pumas have the weekend off but will be keenly watching their next opponents Samoa enter the fray when they face Chile in Bordeaux on Saturday.

England play Japan, who beat Chile last Sunday, a day later in Nice.    

"We are all a little bit disappointed because we could not show everything we have been doing in training, with a very, very good group and individual work," said Creevy. "This is going to help us be stronger, to unite more. We must face this, put our minds to it and think of Samoa. Each game will be a final."

Creevy, who in August he became the first Puma to reach the 100-cap milestone, said he believed this squad had all the ingredients to do great things in what is his fourth World Cup.

"I am convinced that good, solid and strong groups are the ones that win tournaments, even if they go through bad times," he said. "The group is very strong and all that work helps a lot to be where we are."

Creevy, who was captain of the Argentina side that reached the 2015 World Cup semi-finals, said he did not know whether their failure against England was down to what was going on in "their heads."   

"[Argentina head coach] Michael Cheika, who has a lot of experience, is in charge of the mental side of things," said Creevy, who came on as a replacement.

"It's about talking more as a team, for each person to start talking about what he feels. That helps a lot with team communication, so that coaches know where the players are standing and the team know about the coaches.

"Talk about the problems you have, talk about your fears. It's good that the players are starting to open up. It is something I love, because everyone has a different way of seeing things. It helps the team's strength, nourishes it, makes it stronger."

Forwards coach Andrés Bordoy said "self criticism" is the best way of finding solutions – and hopefully the leadership lacking against England will be there for a challenging encounter with Samoa.

"Clearly, we couldn't solve the leadership during the game," he said. "With numerical superiority, we did not know how to make decisions. We trust what we are doing and adhere to it. We are convinced that we will be able to transfer it to the field. 

"Luckily we have the chance to respond in a very tough match against Samoa. We want to prepare in the best way and learn from those mistakes."



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