'Argentina a different animal at home'

Date published: August 19 2013

Argentina captain Felipe Contepomi hopes that playing at home will allow his team to regain confidence and build momentum.

Argentina captain Felipe Contepomi is hoping that his team can show some character and turn things around when they face the Springboks on home soil this weekend.

The Pumas were left shell-shocked by the Boks in Soweto on Saturday, conceding nine tries in a confidence destroying 73-13 defeat, meaning they will have to fight to restore their pride in the return fixture in Mendoza.

Contepomi admitted that they had been outclassed by Springbok side that is very difficult to stop once they have built up momentum and added that they have a lot of work to do if they are to turn things around.

“[It was] a very tough day at the office, we need to improve a lot, South Africa played a magnificent game. Once they got on the front foot it was very difficult to stop them, physically they ruled us out of the game,” said Contepomi.

“We will have to prepare well for next week [the return match in Mendoza],” he said.

The talented centre was not willing to list excuses for the poor performance, but instead hopes that his team were able to learn from the experience.

“I can give you a hundred excuses, but we don't look for excuses – we are very grateful that we are in this tournament,” explained Contepomi.

“For us every match is a learning curve, today was very tough to swallow and I hope we can swing it for next week,” he added.

The Pumas almost recorded their first victory over South Africa last year when an emotional performance in front of their home crowd earned the hosts a 16-all draw. They will be hoping that the local supporters can once again lift the team to produce an inspired display.

Contepomi stressed the need to bounce back quickly in order to salvage some pride and build momentum for the rest of the tournament.

“We need to keep growing, we know we are playing against the three best teams in the world, for us it is a great challenge and I hope that next week we are better than [we were] in this match,” he said.

“We are grateful to be playing the three best rugby nations in this Championship and I hope we can do much better when the Springboks play in Argentina next weekend.”