When Tomas Cubelli played for Argentina in last year’s World Cup semi-final, he shook hands with some of his future Brumbies teammates and said, ’See you next year’.
Handshakes and courtesies have become Snapchat banter about the threat of a Pumas win this week, after Cubelli’s season at the Brumbies.
The scrumhalf, who was a standout in Super Rugby this season, has wasted no time in teasing his Canberra teammates ahead of Saturday night's Test.
“I was going to training and [I’d] send them one saying we’re going to beat them,” he said.
“Scott Sio is good on Snapchat, Tevita [Kuridrani] is a good fan of Snapchat.”
The social media chatter might be in jest, but the Pumas pose a far different threat than they did even in the World Cup.
Offloads and attack have been a major focus for the South Americans, who have traditionally relied on their scrum to assert dominance in matches.
Cubelli said the Pumas had no choice but to move away from their foundations, once they were included in the Rugby Championship in 2012.
“Argentina had to change their style of footy because if you wanted to play in this tournament to be competitive…
“You want to be competitive and not just go and participate you want to compete and try to be the best you can, so I think it’s the only way to win a space in this competition is to take the risk and to play a bit out of your comfort zone.”
The Pumas have scored wins over Australia and South Africa (twice) since coming into the Rugby Championship and Cubelli said there was an air of confidence that came with their Super Rugby and international strides.
“[We’re] more used to the pace of competitions and not going into each game so nervous and anxious now we are competing on this stage,” he said.
“It’s something we can handle and we feel strong enough and skilled enough to win games so I think that has changed.”
Argentina showed their new weapons in a competitive effort against the All Blacks, snatching the first try but eventually getting mowed down in a 57-22 loss.
Cubelli said the Pumas weren’t taking any false optimism out of that match, despite the strong start.
“I think for some passages of the game we showed some great skills and a good pace of rugby but at the same time we know that we conceded almost 60 points so we’re not happy with what happened in Hamilton,” he said.
“I think we have to learn a lot of things from that game and try to fix them for this game.”
The Wallabies host the Pumas at nib Stadium on Saturday night, kicking off at 8:05pm AEST. Buy tickets here.