Pumas ready for 'calculated risks' against Eng

Tue, 22 Nov 2016 07:13

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Argentina scrumhalf Tomas Cubelli is adamant the best way for the Pumas to beat England at Twickenham on Saturday is by sticking with an attacking approach.

At last year's World Cup in England, the South Americans were widely praised for the flair and pace of their backs as well as their traditional forward strength, with the two key aspects of their play working well in a quarterfinal win over Ireland.

But there has been a feeling in some quarters that ever since their semifinal defeat by Australia that the Pumas have got the balance wrong, too often throwing the ball around carelessly before first grinding their way to dominance up front.

They now face an England side looking to maintain their perfect record for 2016 under coach Eddie Jones, but Cubelli believes there can be no going back to an Argentina game based solely on scrum power. 

"We have to keep taking calculated risks - the potential reward has to be worth that," said Cubelli of an Argentina side who will arrive at Twickenham following narrow defeats by both Wales and Scotland. 

"It could be riskier to step back from that, we feel.

"That's the style of game we'll continue to push. We'll keep trying to play that kind of game.

"I think England are doing a great job, they are playing great rugby and everyone is talking about their perfect year.

"That won't make us think too much about them, though, we have to focus on ourselves - there's things we have to fix and keep on improving.

"We wouldn't be here if we didn't think we could win this week.

"And so that would be massive for us.".

Utility back Joaquin Tuculet believes a gruelling year for Argentina, featuring a maiden Super Rugby season for the country's Jaguares side, may be having an effect on the team.

Players who have enjoyed a full campaign with both the Jaguares and the Argentina national side will have taken as many as 50 long-haul flights in 35 weeks.

"It's been tough, it's been a long season, playing Super Rugby and then with Los Pumas," said Tuculet, who previously played club rugby for English Premiership side Sale and Welsh giants Cardiff.

"It's been amazing, but hard. This weekend we have a chance to change things, in our last game.

"We have great players, we can play far better and so we expect to improve this weekend.

"We had a very good World Cup, we've sometimes managed to play some of our best rugby against the top teams.

"I don't know why that is. But it's time for us to raise the level again."

Tuculet added: "England have a very good squad, they have had a fantastic year.

"England did brilliantly in Australia, and in the Six Nations too.

"They have great confidence from their coach and this will definitely be a tough game for us."

Agence France-Presse