Matera: Argentina ready for 'brutal Boks'

Tue, 16 Aug 2016 16:41
Large argentine training general 800

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

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 28 April 2017
Highlanders v Stormers 07h35 Dunedin
Cardiff Blues v Zebre 18h05 Cardiff
Edinburgh v Dragons 18h35 Myreside
Leinster v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 RDS Arena
Newcastle Falcons v Worcester Warriors 19h00 Kingston Park
Sat, 29 April 2017
Chiefs v Sunwolves 07h35 Hamilton
Reds v Waratahs 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Force v Lions 11h55 Perth
Ospreys v Ulster 14h00 Liberty Stadium
Bath v Gloucester 14h00 Recreation Ground
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Saracens v Bristol 14h00 Allianz Park
Harlequins v Wasps 14h00 Twickenham Stoop
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 14h00 Welford Road
Cheetahs v Crusaders 15h15 Bloemfontein
Treviso v Munster 17h05 Stadio Monigo
Kings v Rebels 17h30 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Connacht v Scarlets 18h35 Sportsground
Jaguares v Sharks 19h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 30 April 2017
Brumbies v Blues 06h05 Canberra
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 April 2017
Clermont Auvergne v Leinster 27 | 22
Sat, 22 April 2017
Sharks v Rebels 9 | 9
Bulls v Cheetahs 20 | 14
Munster v Saracens 10 | 26
Force v Chiefs 7 | 16
Crusaders v Stormers 57 | 24
Highlanders v Sunwolves 40 | 15
Fri, 21 April 2017
Lions v Jaguares 24 | 21
Waratahs v Kings 24 | 26
Hurricanes v Brumbies 56 | 21
Mon, 17 April 2017
UP-Tuks v Maties 28 | 21
Sun, 16 April 2017
Bristol v Wasps 21 | 36
Northampton Saints v Saracens 25 | 27
Sat, 15 April 2017
Connacht v Leinster 24 | 37
Treviso v Edinburgh 21 | 6
RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
New Zealand 6 6 0 0 30
Australia 6 3 0 3 14
South Africa 6 2 0 4 10
Argentina 6 1 0 5 5