Phelan slates sloppy Pumas

Sun, 18 Nov 2012 06:14

Santiago Phelan coach of Argentina was scathing about his side's performance in their 39-22 defeat at the hands of France here on Saturday.

The 38-year-old - who has been in his post since 2008 - was as brutal in his assessment of the Pumas' display as he had been complimentary about their performance in last Saturday's 26-12 victory over Six Nations Grand Slam champions Wales.

Argentina, who go on to play Ireland in Dublin next weekend, had looked comfortable when they led 13-3 before the quarter-of-an-hour mark but two quickfire tries by Vincent Clerc turned the match in the hosts' favour.

"Argentina began the match well but after that lost control of both the ball and the rhythm of the match," said the former international flank, who won 44 caps captaining the side twice.

"We were not good with our kicking game and handed the initiative to the French.

"France made the most of our errors in scoring their first try. In the second-half there was a lot of shortcomings on my team's part and the replacements did not succeed in adding any momentum to our game."

His captain Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe, man of the match against Wales but a phantom presence against the French, said that he barely recognised the Pumas side that had played here with the one that beat Wales.

"In terms of the physical aspect, we lacked the precision that we had last week," said the 30-year-old flank, who plays for leading French side Toulon.

"We came off second best in the rucks and our lack of discipline let us down.

"We know that discipline is a very important part of the game. We held our discipline in the first-half but not in the second and these errors handed points to our opponent."