Pumas seeking head doctor

Fri, 15 Sep 2017 10:08
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IN THE SPOTLIGHT: The Argentina Pumas are working with experts on how to combat their gruelling travelling schedule as they face the Wallabies in their last away Test of the Rugby Championship season on Saturday.

Argentina have already played in South Africa and New Zealand and face Australia, chasing their first win of the southern hemisphere tournament in Canberra.

Scrumhalf Martin Landajo said the thousands of kilometres of travelling to and from games had taken a toll and the Pumas were working on ways to overcome those issues.

"We've been working a lot in Super Rugby, we've been having a lot of people specialising in mental work, so it's a good thing. It's just new for us," Landajo told reporters Friday.

"In the past, we just played rugby, we just trained and got onto the field and this year we've been talking about the mental thing and we've been working on it,"

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Against New Zealand last weekend, Argentina led 22-15 early in the second half before being run down by the All Blacks 29-35 in New Plymouth.

They encounter a Wallabies team also chasing their first win of this year's tournament.

"We have tried to change the mental thing, we train well, we're committed to the game but our head or mental part is the one that falls a bit, whether someone is tired, or we want to go back home," Landajo said.

"So, we talked a lot about that, we have little opportunity to train, so we talked a lot and watched lots of videos and I think it's more mental,"

Landajo said the Jaguares' successes in Super Rugby on their most recent trip to Australia indicated improvement in the team's mindset.

The Jaguares won back-to-back games against the Melbourne Rebels 32-29 and the NSW Waratahs 40-27 to complete an unbeaten tour of Australia in July.

"The end of the season of Super Rugby, we had competed for nothing, but still we talk about the mental thing and I think we did two very good mental games," Landajo said.

"Our team is a good team that plays good rugby but when our head is in another place, we don't play well,"

Lock Guido Petti said the Pumas were preparing for a tough battle in the forwards with the Wallabies.

"They [the Wallabies] like the lineout and the maul, so maybe the battle is in there because of the maul," Petti said.

"The one that really wins the battle in the forwards or the one-to-one is the one that is going to take the match,"

The Wallabies have won 13 of their last 14 games against the Pumas and have lost only once to Argentina in 13 Tests at home.

Agence France-Presse

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