Argentina captain Agustin Creevy says his team will be out for revenge in Saturday’s second Test against England at Estadio Brigadier General Estanislao Lopez in Santa Fe.
The 32-year-old hooker, who played for Montpellier and Worcester before joining up with the Buenos Aires-based Jaguares Super Rugby franchise on their formation two years ago, says his players are still smarting from their last-ditch defeat in the first Test and has called on them to learn the lessons from it.
A drop goal from Juan Martin Hernandez three minutes from the end looked to have secured a precious victory in San Juan but Denny Solomona’s last-minute try condemned them to a 38-34 defeat.
“I am very angry and the team is very angry after the first game,” Creevy said at a joint press conference in Sante Fe attended by a host of local dignatories. “We are preparing for revenge.
“There is a mental factor which comes down to a lack of concentration and we are very focused on what we have to do. It is a matter of attitude.
“You can train for hours and hours but it does not matter if the attitude is not right and our attitude is very important this week.”
Pumas coach Daniel Hourcade has largely kept faith with the team that pushed England so close in the first Test, his only change being on the wing where Ramiro Moyano replaces his Jaguares teammate Matias Moroni.
Argentina let slip a golden opportunity to improve their world ranking of nine with their defeat in San Juan but victory over their pool C opponents at the 2019 World Cup, coupled with a France defeat by South Africa, would enable them to leapfrog Les Bleus into eighth place.
That, says head coach Hourcade, would maintain their recovery after a disappointing two years as they gear up for 2019.
“This is part of a process and we are at the middle point of our four-year plan,” Hourcade told the press conference. “We are getting more experience and getting better day by day.
“In Super Rugby and internationals, our players will have played more than 100 games by 2019 so we will be going into the World Cup in good shape.”
Hourcade is currently unable to call on overseas-based Argentinian players but is confident he will have full access in time for the World Cup.
“It’s not a political decision but a sport decision,” he said. “I expect the players to come back to play here. It’s important for them to come here and play at Super Rugby level.”