Agustin Creevy: It will take perfection to beat All Blacks, but we can do it

By Nigel Yalden

Argentina captain Agustin Creevy. Photo / Brett Phibbs.
Argentina captain Agustin Creevy. Photo / Brett Phibbs.

It will take perfection to beat the All Blacks and Agustin Creevy believes this Pumas team are capable of delivering that.

The Argentina captain is well aware of the rugby history between New Zealand and Argentina.

He appreciates that no Argentine side has beaten the current Rugby World Cup holders, with the Hugo Porto-led side coming closest in 1985 with a 21-all draw in Buenos Aires.
"That's why it's such a huge challenge for us," Creevy said.

"But we believe that if we do things really well, if we have the perfect game, we can beat them even knowing they are one of the best teams in the world."

That increase in confidence and belief is directly attributed to their oscillating fortunes in the first fortnight of the Rugby Championship.

Leading South Africa 23-13 with 12 minutes to play in his side's opening game of the tournament in Nelspruit, Creevy watched from the sidelines as a lead he'd help build vanished as the Boks rattled home with 17 unanswered points to claim victory.

However seven days later in Salta, the Pumas let another 10-point lead slip but were kicked to victory by Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias in the 78th minute, and that is what Creevy uses to highlight the growing spirit in this team.

"We were not very happy as we didn't close out that [first] test.

"But when we beat them [Boks] in Salta, it showed to the team that we can get a good result after having a disappointing result the week before."

They also need only look back at recent their most encounter with the All Blacks in New Zealand to find further encouragement.

Last July's loss in Christchurch did expose a major All Black weakness - an inability to defend lineout drives.

Creevy isn't getting carried away with that success 14 months ago, despite seeing it as an important weapon if done correctly.

"We have to have a good lineout before we can make a good maul," Creevy points out in a clear reference to the All Blacks ability to steal and disrupt ball in that area of set piece play. "We know that that gave us good results in Christchurch last year, but first we must have a good lineout."

Even though he was speaking in Spanish, the emphasis on the word "must" was impossible to miss.

That determined tone changes quickly to respect when asked about opposing hooker Dane Coles, who happily states that Creevy is the best hooker in world rugby in his eyes.
It's an admiration that is clearly reciprocal.

"He's an excellent player and has shown that over some time now," Creevy says with a knowing grin on his face.

"It's going to be really nice to play against him as I really respect him as a player."

A match-up that would be made even enjoyable with slice of history heaped on the side.

* Nigel Yalden is rugby editor for Radio Sport & Newstalk ZB

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