Friday, 05 March, 2021


Emotional Argentina coach hails Pumas players after defeating All Blacks

Argentina players wave to their supporters as they celebrate after the Tri Nations rugby test between Argentina and New Zealand Argentina players wave to their supporters after defeating New Zealand
Noah Ferguson | 16 November, 2020, 01:38

They face Australia next week in their second Tri Nations clash, with Ledesma urging his team to "just stay humble and keep working".

It was Argentina's first Test in over a year - since victory over the United States at the 2019 World Cup - but they made an electric start in Australia with Stade Francais fly-half Sanchez going over in the 19th minute after he collected his opportune kick to dive under the posts.

Their victory was more remarkable given their Europe-based players only arrived in Sydney in late October, remaining in lockdown until just days before yesterday's game. "Just so proud of them".

Before the match the team released a video showing how players had trained at home, been isolated from their families and quarantined from their team-mates during the months before the match.

"Unreal, unreal, surreal", said an emotional Ledesma after the Rugby Championship win.

Argentina captain Pablo Matera, who played for Leicester for a season in 2013, was instrumental in victory.

Former Wallabies coach and now Pumas assistant Michael Cheika was also a conspicuous presence alongside Ledesma in Argentine coaches' box.

Argentina players on the field after beating the All Blacks
Argentina players celebrate the historic victory

"There's a lot of guys that have pulled on this jersey before us and worked really hard so this is a big day for rugby in Argentina".

Their last back to back loss was in 2011.

The defeat drops New Zealand to third in the world rankings, behind South Africa and England, the lowest they have been since 2003.

Coach Mario Ledesma says stunning the All Blacks after a 35-year wait is his finest achievement, hailing his Argentinian team after a long and emotional journey to breaking their hoodoo.

Foster was the safe choice for the New Zealand Rugby Union following the end of Hansen's trophy-laden tenure, and ticked all the boxes in terms of the governing body's desire to consistently evolve from within as he had been a key member of the previous coaching team.

"This role always comes with pressure so what I feel right now is massive disappointment".

"We have a lot of good people in this group and we have shown we can perform at a high level and we need to go back and show we can do it again".

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