Los Pumas want to enjoy semi-final week

by RUGBY.com.au staff

Argentina says it’s focused on embracing its semi-final experience, as it prepares for a final four clash with the Wallabies.

Preparing for their second World Cup semi-final in eight years, Los Pumas hooker Julian Montoya said they would look to enjoy the week leading up to their final four clash.

“We talk a lot about enjoying this experience. Of course there’s pressure, but the senior players, like (Juan Martin) Fernández Lobbe or (Horacio) Agulla, tell us to enjoy what’s happening,” he said.

“I hope ‘Agus’ (Creevy) will be able to start because he’s an excellent player, and if I’m selected I’ll certainly do my best. My family and the group help to take the pressure off.

“That word ‘enjoyment’ is crucial.”

Montoya said the side was ready for a tougher Wallabies scrum, which has improved under Argentinian Mario Ledesma.

“We still haven’t studied it in-depth, but we know them and that their scrum will be extremely tough because they’ve come a long way there,” he said.

“Australia wasn’t really a scrummaging team and now they’re very good at it.

“ I don’t know Ledesma, but I know he’s been very instrumental in improving their scrum.”

While Montoya says constant scrummaging could play into their hands, the Wallabies’ dynamism looms as their biggest threat.

“It’s a very dynamic team that we know well from having faced them in the Rugby Championship.

“ They like to play running rugby and wear us down. They’ve got plenty of skills and it will be tough, as always.”

Assistant coach Pablo Bouza said the Wallabies’ gutsy efforts against strong sides and in a variety of conditions meant they would be dangerous across all areas of the game.

“ Against England they played their best game, the other two were closer,” he said.

“Yesterday they had some rain, and Australia are very hard to defend against, they’ll come at you with mauls, down the centre or out on the wings, no matter who they’re playing - they’ve got a lot of options.”