Pumas upbeat despite opening loss
August 19, 2012
Argentina found out the hard way about life in the Rugby Championship © Getty Images
Despite a heavy defeat to South Africa in their opening Rugby Championship game, Argentina skipper Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe and coach Santiago Phelan have taken a number of positives prior to next weekend's rematch.
Zane Kirchner, Marcell Coetzee and Bryan Habana bagged tries as the Springboks prevailed 27-6, with the Pumas' points coming from the boot of Juan Martin Hernandez.
Despite the scoreline, Argentina competed well at the breakdown and defended with plenty of determination, leaving Fernandez Lobbe upbeat at the final whistle.
"I think it was a good first step," he told AP. "We realise how intense it is in this type of rugby. We can take a lot of positives from this game, but it was very intense. We are going to improve and that's our main goal."
Phelan echoed his skipper's sentiments, praising his side's commitment and vowing to learn from the experience of playing the world's best sides on a regular basis.
We need to improve a few things, but the attitude ... they gave 100%," he said. "Our first goal is to grow up in our rugby. To improve by playing the best teams in the world."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"Cheika's been phenomenal. He gives you an incredible level of mental strength." Tom Hamilton talks to Waratahs star Jacques Potgieter