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- Rugby Championship
- 30th Sep 2012
- KO 00:10
- Att: 30,000
Argentina v New Zealand - The Rugby Championship match preview
Santiago Fernandez believes Argentina need to play the "perfect game" if they are to upset New Zealand in the Rugby Championship tonight.
The Pumas are yet to register a win in the competition, having lost all three of their away games and drawn 16-16 with South Africa at home.
And centre Fernandez knows Argentina, who have named an unchanged XV following their loss to Australia last time out, will have to raise their game against the world champions.
"We have to play for the full 80 minutes," Fernandez said. "In the last two matches we failed to maintain intensity. We have to improve this.
"We have to play a perfect game, given they are the world champions and the best team in the world. We have to play tough defence and take advantage of the few chances we get. They don't make many mistakes, and we have to be ready to capitalise when they do."
New Zealand coach Steve Hansen is taking nothing for granted, though, after seeing the Pumas grow as the competition has progressed.
Hansen, who has recalled Dan Carter and Aaron Smith for the clash, said: "All we see from the Pumas is that they are getting better and better.
"What they've brought to every game so far is real physicality, a real enthusiasm and a big heart. They started to use the ball a little bit against Australia and looked really dangerous. So they might get some confidence out of that and maybe play some more rugby."
Argentina: 15 Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino, 14 Gonzalo Camacho, 13 Marcelo Bosch, 12 Santiago Fernandez, 11 Horacio Agulla, 10 Juan Martin Hernandez, 9 Martin Landajo, 8 Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe (c), 7 Juan Manuel Leguizamon, 6 Julio Farias Cabello, 5 Patricio Albacete, 4 Manuel Carizza, 3 Juan Figallo, 2 Eusebio Guinazu, 1 Rodrigo Roncero. Replacements: 16 Agustin Creevy, 17 Marcos Ayerza, 18 Tomas Vallejos, 19 Tomas Leonardi, 20 Nicolas Vergallo, 21 Martin Rodriguez, 22 Juan Imhoff.
New Zealand: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Daniel Carter, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw (c), 6 Liam Messam, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Andrew Hore, 1 Tony Woodcock. Replacements: 16 Keven Mealamu, 17 Charlie Faumuina, 18 Brodie Retallick, 19 Sam Cane, 20 Piri Weepu, 21 Aaron Cruden, 22 Ben Smith.
|Click here for more betting|
|Saturday 13th September|
|Australia 32 - 25 Argentina|
|New Zealand 14 - 10 South Africa|
|Saturday 6th September|
|Australia 24 - 23 South Africa|
|New Zealand 28 - 9 Argentina|
|Saturday 23rd August|
|Argentina 31 - 33 South Africa|
|New Zealand 51 - 20 Australia|
|Saturday 16th August|
|South Africa 13 - 6 Argentina|
|Australia 12 - 12 New Zealand|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com