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Argentina 16-16 South Africa, Mendoza
Fernandez 'angry' about the missed drop
Patricio Connolly
August 28, 2012
Santiago Fernandez vies for the high ball with Lwazi Mvovo, Argentina v South Africa, Rugby Championship, Mendoza, August 25, 2012
Santiago Fernandez vies for the high ball with Lwazi Mvovo © PA Photos
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Players/Officials: Santiago Fernandez
Tournaments/Tours: Rugby Championship
Teams: Argentina

Santiago Fernández has 19 tests to his name with the Pumas and one World Cup under his belt. But last Sunday's match against South Africa in Mendoza was undoubtedly his best performance in the blue and white. He showed defensive confidence, ruthless attacks and opportunism en route to his try. The Montpellier player earned his spot on the field in Santiago Phelan's era at a time where there aren't many options open to the Pumas but he's yielding the results. After the 16-16 draw with the Springboks, he spoke with Scrum.

How do you feel about the match?
Right now it's anger. We could have won it. It's a shame because we really thought it was going to be the day. In time, we'll appreciate what we did. Personally, I'm angry about the drop I missed and about the final result; it's a draw that tastes of defeat.

Why do you think that South Africa was able to get the draw?
We couldn't hold the result due to collective and individual mistakes. These are things that you can't mess up at this level if you want to get the positive result. We made much less mistakes than in Cape Town, but we all know the quality of South Africa, and they made us pay.

The first half was almost perfect...
We took a sizeable step ahead in our game, and also in the second half. We did good things. We handled the pace of the match, we pushed the pace when we wanted and slowed it down when we wanted. Those are things that make you happy. It's a very new experience for all of us and we are learning. But with these kinds of setbacks, maybe we'll get a result in the future.

On his try, Fernández said: "It was a team effort and I didn't do much." As the hours go by, the multi-functional back starts to realize what they've achieved: "It's historic." But it doesn't end here because four battles still lie ahead - against no less than New Zealand and Australia, first and second, respectively, in the IRB rankings.

Will the tour be more difficult? I hope we've learned from our small mistakes ahead of the Wellington match. After watching New Zealand, it's something we've never faced before. I think the All Blacks are a mix of Australian and South African rugby. They're as tough as the South Africans, and play as well as the Australians. We'll see something that we haven't even seen in the World Cup.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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