Argentina faced one of the biggest upheavals in rugby history when they stunned New Zealand at Tri-Nations on Saturday in Parramatta, Australia, by beating the three-time world champions for the first time in 30 attempts going back 35 years.
Inspired Nicolas Sanchez scored all Argentina points with a six-penalty penalty attempt and a diversion, and the Pumas family withstood a fierce late-onset to secure a famous victory in their first Test in over a year..
Argentina has virtually no chance to win the opening title of the tournament after being sidelined for so long by the global health crisis. Sydney’s West Stadium was an unlikely place for such a historic victory, but the ecstatic Pumas gathered in front of a small group of fellow countrymen at the final whistle and celebrated with song and dance.
Their coach Mario Ledesma said: « They showed themselves the way they are, the players as well, the Argentinians as well. ». “For a long time we have been copying what other people are doing, but we are different, really proud of being different.
“This is really special for us. It’s surreal to play that game after all that happened this year. Some players haven’t seen their families in four months nor have they complained once. We’ll remember this for a long time . . . I guess someone would write a book about it.
All Blacks coach Ian Foster insisted his team had not underestimated Argentina after losing successive Tests for the first time in nine years.. He said, « We’ve had this kind of arm wrestling with them before. ». “They are a team we have a lot of respect for. They defied us about our coolness and maybe a couple of weeks went by [as] we didn’t handle that well.
Foster paid tribute to Pumas, who spent much of their tournament pre-season time in isolated environments in South America and Australia.. He said, « Everyone said their flaw was that they didn’t play much rugby. ». « [But] they came here with tremendous energy and perhaps a great desire to prove something for their country who have gone through difficult times..
« No excuses. It’s an All Blacks shirt and we have to do our best every time. But there was certainly a difference in the intensity of the two teams.
Foster said there was a lot of work to be done in the two weeks leading up to the New Zealand final, as well as against Argentina..
He said, « We have to recharge and make sure we are finished at the top. ». « We don’t like another team playing more power than us, so we have to know how to respond.
New Zealand National Rugby Union Team, Argentine National Rugby Union Team, Rugby Union, Rugby Championship
World News – African Confederation – We Are Different: Ledesma hails Argentina’s historic victory over all blacks
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