Agulla calls for calm and focus
October 5, 2011
Argentina wing Horacio Agulla (left) © Getty Images
Argentina wing Horacio Agulla believes that concentration and patience will be key for the Pumas in Sunday's daunting Rugby World Cup quarter-final clash with New Zealand.
Few are giving the South Americans much hope of upsetting the tournament hosts in Auckland, particularly on the back of a rather uninspiring victory over Georgia last weekend. Agulla freely admits that the Pumas face an unenviable task but he feels that if they can maintain their focus for the entire 80 minutes, they can pull off what would be the biggest shock in the tournament's history.
"It's a big challenge for us playing against the best team in the world," he said. "It's going to be a massive game and a dream to play in New Zealand at the World Cup against New Zealand.
"You cannot give them 10 minutes, otherwise they can score five tries over you. We have to be smart and play with our heart and lots of passion. We have to be 100% focused. We have to trust in ourselves and each other.
"We have to respect our system and play our best in attack and be in control of our defence. Being patient is the trick. We have to play the 80 minutes and see what happens."
The Pumas' cause has, on the face of it, been aided by the All Blacks' loss of Dan Carter to a tournament-ending groin injury but Agulla is of the opinion that the absence of the game's finest playmaker has not made their task any easier, such is New Zealand's strength in depth.
"Dan (Carter) is the best fly-half in the world, but New Zealand is always going to find players with plenty of talent," the Leicester Tigers ace said.
Besides, Agulla feels that the game will be decided up front, saying: "They have great forwards - flanker Jerome Kaino is very strong - and we have to try and control them."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The latest Week in Pictures brings you a selection of the best snaps from around the rugby world with scantily clad ladies, O'Driscoll and snow all featuring
"If I miss the first kick of the match, it shouldn't have any impact on the second. They are different entities." Tom Hamilton talks to Northampton Saints' Stephen Myler
It's time for those running Welsh rugby to stop trying to prevent its players heading to France and to start planning a future without them, writes Martin Williamson
Paul Eddison explains how the French sold English clubs down the river and why their domestic game will go from strength to strength