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
Thu, 02 March 2017
Force v Reds 10h30 Perth
Fri, 03 March 2017
Chiefs v Blues 06h35 Hamilton
Edinburgh v Ospreys 19h35 Myreside
Ulster v Treviso 19h35 Kingspan Stadium
Connacht v Zebre 19h35 Ascoli Piceno
Sale Sharks v Northampton Saints 20h15 AJ Bell Stadium
Sat, 04 March 2017
Hurricanes v Rebels 04h15 Wellington
Highlanders v Crusaders 06h45 Dunedin
Brumbies v Sharks 08h45 Canberra
Sunwolves v Kings 10h55 Singapore
Lions v Waratahs 13h05 Johannesburg
Leicester Tigers v Exeter Chiefs 15h00 Welford Road
Gloucester v Harlequins 15h00 Kingsholm
Bath v Wasps 15h00 Recreation Ground
Glasgow Warriors v Dragons 15h00 Scotstoun Stadium
Worcester Warriors v Bristol 15h00 Sixways
Stormers v Jaguares 15h15 Cape Town
Cardiff Blues v Munster 17h15 BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park
Cheetahs v Bulls 17h30 Bloemfontein
Leinster v Scarlets 19h35 RDS Arena
Sun, 05 March 2017
Newcastle Falcons v Saracens 15h00 Kingston Park
Mon, 06 March 2017
UP-Tuks v CUT-Ixias 14h45 Pretoria
UKZN-Impi v UWC 16h30 Durban
WSU v CPUT 16h30 Mthatha
Fort Hare v TUT 16h30 Davidson Stadium
NMMU-Madibaz v UJ 16h30 Port Elizabeth
NWU-Pukke v Wits 16h30 Potchefstroom
Shimlas v Maties 17h00 Bloemfontein
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