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Reaction: Pumas stun France in World Cup opener
September 7, 2007

Pichot hails historic triumph

Argentina captain Agustin Pichot was delighted with his side's hard-fought victory over the World Cup hosts, commenting, "For myself, coach Marcelo Loffreda and the rest of the team this result is very important.

"Not only because it was the first game of the World Cup but because until now Argentina has been left on the sidelines by world rugby," said the veteran scrum-half playing in his fourth World Cup.

"Tonight the message is that we exist, we are proud to be Argentinians.

"We are not the best technicians, we are not even the most physical, but we play with heart.

"This won't sink in for a while. We won't know what we have done, because you never know the context, but this team has a hunger to write history.

"As a team, we just want to make history for Argentina rugby."

His French counterpart Raphael Ibanez was viably stunned in the post-match press conference and told the assembled media, "It is a massive disappointment.

"The Argentinian defence was fantastic, and they were able to slow down the ball.

"We still have three games to go in this group, and we will have to work even harder.

"The expectation on us for this first game was enormous, and we weren't tough enough to deal with that."

Pumas coach Marcelo Loffreda added, "We wanted to play it in the forwards as that is the way we played. We played smart.

"We came with a plan to beat France and we knew that it would not be easy but this is an important win for Argentina.

"We have a difficult pool and to start with a good win was important.

"We have given ourselves a good start and we need to make advantage of it. We are not going to make celebrations of this. We are going to take it game by game and play our best."

France coach Bernard Laporte admitted his side were second best in all departments, adding, "The pressure was a big thing in the game.

"We didn't play like we had done in the three World Cup preparation games (against England, twice, and Wales). We didn't play well against a good team."

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