Reaction: Argentina too strong for Namibia
September 22, 2007
Pichot hails Pumas' professionalism
Argentina captain Agustin Pichot insisted his side were made to work hard for victory despite running in nine tries in their 63-3 win over African minnows Namibia.
There were seven try-scorers for the Pumas, with Felipe Contepomi impressing with two penalties, four conversions and a touch down of his own.
But while the second half had the feel of a procession for large periods, Pichot believes that is a testament to his side's professionalism.
"That we won the game was important,'' he told ITV4.
"We knew Namibia would give everything but we needed to win and we did.
"It was tough but for all the Argentinians here (at the stadium) it was excellent.
"They made us work very hard but we kept our composure and finished well.''
The performance saw Argentina lay out an impressive marker ahead of their crucial World Cup Pool D meeting with Eddie O'Sullivan's Ireland next Sunday with a nine-try showing against minnows Namibia.
The Pumas, who will pose the Irish a stiff test as they look to bounce back from their 25-3 defeat to hosts France and edge the South Americans out of the knockout stages, brushed aside their counterparts as twin brothers Felipe and Manuel Contepomi provided the foundations for victory.
The talented brothers dominated the first half before a flurry of touch downs, including two for Juan Manuel Leguizamon, saw them run out comfortable winners.
Felipe Contepomi dictated the early passages of play with his clever tactical kicking but it was Namibia who were first on the scoreboard.
Argentina were penalised for an indiscretion on their own 22 after seven minutes' play and Morne Schreuder slotted over with ease.
But just three minutes later the scores were level after Contepomi kicked a penalty of his own from in front of the posts.
A second penalty made it 6-3 after 20 minutes but the real breakthrough came when the Argentina pack powered over the line for the first try, with Patricio Albacete and Rodrigo Roncero in attendance.
Manuel Contepomi erred slightly during Argentina's next break, making a good run but holding on a fraction too long with an overlap forming outside him.
Leguizamon scored a second try after 34 minutes, collecting the ball at the back of a powerful Argentina scrum and darting inside to breach the Namibian defence.
The Africans were caught cold two minutes before the interval when Argentina produced some fast ball on the left flank before releasing Manuel Contepomi, who scored with a fine diving finish which Felipe converted.
A lineout five metres out gave Alberto Vernet Basualdo the chance to set up another try with his throw and he duly obliged. Unsurprisingly it was a Contepomi on the end of it, Felipe this time cutting inside in midfield before converting his own try.
A second score in the space of five minutes was narrowly averted when the referee called play back as Horacio Agulla crossed but it took just 90 seconds for Leguizamon to make amends, powering over the line for his second, and his
Felipe Contepomi's handling let him down as they sought a sixth but when they earned a quick tapped penalty Gonzalo Tiesi made no mistake.
The conversion flew wide of the posts but Ignacio Corleto scored again soon after and the score moved to 56-3 after a slightly harsh penalty try award.
The Pumas went quiet after that and spurned a fine chance after 69 minutes with a handling error but substitute Federico Todeschini, who also helped himself to two conversions, added impetus and chased his own grubber to keep the points coming.
"It does sometimes get tough as you get older, but there's nothing else I'd rather do." Tom Hamilton talks to fly-half Dan Carter
Stingers, a rampaging Fijian and two Dannys looking to be champions of the world - Monday Maul looks at some key talking points
The latest Week in Pictures takes in the Top 14, Super Rugby and the Aviva Premiership with fireworks and monsters both featuring
Firdose Moonda looks at the moves towards greater integration within South African rugby ... and what the future holds