Pumas to look abroad?

Mon, 07 Oct 2013 08:58
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We're not satisfied just to play with the three best, we hate losing

After failing to register their first win in their second Rugby Championship campaign, the Pumas are being tipped to look overseas for a new coach.

Argentina's second year in the southern hemisphere competition ended in major disappointment as they went down 54-17 to Australia in a match many saw as their best chance to notch their first victory.

Despite showing that they can be competitive, the Pumas have not been able to get over the line and with coach Santiago Phelan's contract expiring at the end of the year they could look abroad for a replacement.

Phelan has had the input of World Cup-winning All Blacks coach Graham Henry as a consultant, but has not been able to produce a win in the Rugby Championship with the draw with the Springboks last year and a one-point defeat to the Wallabies this year the closest his team have come.

Waratahs coach Michael Cheika is being tipped as the favourite to take over from Phelan, who was left dejected after another tough campaign.

"The team grew in solidity and seriousness, we took a big step forward in the set pieces and discipline.

"We still have to improve our ball retention (and) physical fitness so we can withstand the game our opponents play and that we want to play," Phelan told reporters.

Pumas captain Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe admitted that his side have some way to go before they reach the standards set by New Zealand, South Africa and Australia.

"The challenge is gigantic, very high. We're not satisfied just to play with the three best, we hate losing, we want to win and the pressure of the matches is the pressure we put on ourselves to compete as equals," he said.