LONDON, Oct 6 (Reuters) - Argentina have relinquished home advantage but believe they can gain in motivation by playing Australia at Twickenham in their closing Rugby Championship test on Saturday (1830 GMT).
The Pumas had set themselves the goal of two wins in their six matches and must beat the Wallabies to achieve it having notched one against South Africa in Salta in August.
“Not playing at home may deny us some of the mass support (we get) but the fact of playing at Twickenham generates a special motivation in any rugby player,” Pumas coach Daniel Hourcade said.
The organisers proposed playing one of their matches in the northern hemisphere to drum up more interest in the tournament on the back of the southern hemisphere taking the top four places at the 2015 World Cup.
Saturday’s test will be a re-run of two teams’ World Cup semi-final, won 29-15 by the Wallabies who then lost the final to New Zealand.
A win for Australia would put them back on track after their 18-10 defeat by South Africa in Pretoria last weekend, which left Michael Cheika’s team in third place, four points above Argentina.
With South Africa at home to champions New Zealand in Durban on Saturday, Australia could regain second place but equally finish bottom of the standings if they lose to the Pumas.
Argentina have left it late to achieve their two wins goal, having lost 36-20 to the Wallabies in Perth last month in a match they had fancied themselves to win.
“Never believe that your rivals are below their potential because Australia have many times shown us they are always very strong, so we respect them,” Hourcade told reporters on Thursday.
Australia stunned the Pumas in Perth with a high octane start that gave them a 21-0 lead after 13 minutes, something centre Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias said Argentina had been working to rectify.
“They threw their full repertoire at us at the beginning of the match and caught us napping,” said Gonzalez Iglesias, who kicked the penalty that gave Argentine their one win against South Africa in Salta last month.
He said Australia vary their attacks constantly and Argentina need to be tight defensively to counter the threat.
“Australia always change and that complicates you, we must stick to a defensive plan and be strong which is something we didn’t do in our last match,” he said. (Editing by Martyn Herman)