Matera: Argentina ready for 'brutal Boks'

Tue, 16 Aug 2016 16:41
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IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Argentina expect South Africa to be at their 'brutal; best' when the two teams meet in the opening round of the Rugby Championship on Saturday.

The Pumas and Springboks go head-to-head at Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit on Saturday.

Los Pumas flank Pablo Matera, speaking to the media at the Argentineans' training base in Johannesburg, made it clear that he expects South Africa to bring plenty of "physicality", as well as using their traditional strengths of a strong scrum and set-piece when the two teams lock horns.

Matera, who has won just once in six Tests against the Springboks, feels he knows exactly what to expect from them.

"The Springboks is the most physical team I have ever played," Matera said.

"Their pack of forwards are amazing, so I think we are ready for a physical match.

"South Africa has one of the best packs in the world - they maul a lot, they drive a lot and they have great scrummaging. I think we have prepared ourselves for a forwards match and the best pack on Saturday is going to be the winning team," said Matera.

Matera added that the Lions' expansive game during Super Rugby, which saw them finish as runners-up, could add extra firepower to the Springbok attack.

"You can see that South Africa is playing more with the ball and not such a direct game. They have new moves and I think they are playing the ball more, they are playing a more dynamic game.

"We saw it with the Lions. They were the only South African team that played like a New Zealand team. They were playing from every part of the field and they still have the physical aspect.

"I think that is what could make the Springboks powerful," explained Matera.

The last time South Africa and Argentina did battle was during last year's World Cup in England and on that occasion the Springboks managed to come away with a 24-13 victory - which ensured that they finished third at the global showpiece event.

The previous encounter before the World Cup outing was a milestone result for Los Pumas, as they defeated the Springboks for the first time - a 37-25 Rugby Championship victory in Durban last year.

Matera pointed out that his team will look to continue their competitive nature throughout the 2016 Rugby Championship.

"Last year we beat South Africa and the year before we beat Australia.

"We have never beaten New Zealand and we have never had two victories in one Rugby Championship.

"This year our objective is to win matches and hopefully, we will start on the right foot," said Matera.

By Josh Isaacson, in Johannesburg
@isaacson_j
@rugby365com

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