October 5, 2018 / 6:53 PM / 2 months ago

Rugby-Argentina go back to basics for final match v Australia

BUENOS AIRES, Oct 5 (Reuters) - Argentina coach Mario Ledesma said his team must not get complacent after their best ever Rugby Championship, especially when they face an Australia side on Saturday bolstered by the return of flyhalf Bernard Foley.

The Pumas, who play the Wallabies in the last game of this year’s Championship, have already secured two wins for the first time since they joined the tournament in 2012, including a 23-19 victory in Australia.

Australia, who have won only once in five games and sit bottom of the table, have recalled the experienced Foley to play alongside Kurtley Beale, who has been moved to inside centre.

The Wallabies will be going all out to avoid the wooden spoon and the reconfigured back line will make them an even tougher opponent, Ledesma said.

“We’re going to see a more dangerous Australia,” the coach told reporters on Friday ahead of the game in Salta.

“Beale is someone who has no respect for structure, he can express himself better at 12 or fullback. Foley is a classic number 10 who plays more direct and he compliments Beale well.”

Ledesma knows his counterpart Michael Cheika well having worked with him for two years as Australia assistant coach. Yet the wily Ledesma said his own team needed to get back to basics after last week’s 35-17 loss to New Zealand.

“We lost focus and got starry eyed after all the compliments we received,” Ledesma said.

Argentina had hoped to continue their good form against the world champions and record their first win against them in 28 encounters but the All Blacks overran them to clinch their third consecutive Rugby Championship title.

“We’ve concentrated again on our identity, on the team we are and that we want to be,” Ledesma added. “We need to show the things that made us strong throughout the championship.”

Reporting by Ramiro Scandolo, writing by Andrew Downie Editing by Toby Davis

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