The Pumas sing the anthem in Santiago del Estero.  (AP Photo/Gustavo Garello)

With the minimum objective of improving its role in the new edition of the Rugby Championship, The Cougars They will begin on Saturday at 4:05 p.m. to carve out the most ambitious of their purposes: to become a competitive team among the powers. With the tests before Scotland as a reference, in which they showed positive aspects and others that the coach Michael Sheika try to polish from your arrival, the expectations are not lower.

It will be the fourth match for Los Pumas in 2022 in Argentina since, in addition to the series of three against the Scots, the Mendoza square will be added for the debut of the selected team in the tournament in which, in addition to the first rival, Australiathey play South Africa Y New Zealandwho will meet earlier in Nelspruit.

Completed the last training in the thrushes -without the emphasis placed on physical contact- and with defined headlines since Thursday (Juan Cruz Mallía; Santiago Cordero, Matías Orlando, Jerónimo de la Fuente, Emiliano Boffelli; Santiago Carreras, Tomás Cubelli; Pablo Matera, Marcos Kremer, Juan Martín González; Tomás Lavanini, Matías Alemanno; Francisco Gómez Kodela, Julián Montoya and Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro), Los Pumas completed the captain’s run at the Malvinas Argentinas where the match will be played and they concentrated in the hotel while waiting for the match.

The Pumas sing the anthem in Santiago del Estero. (AP Photo/Gustavo Garello)

Although the games against Scotland were fundamental for Cheika, the coming championship is the starting point for the new version of Los Pumas. The last Rugby Championship was key to mark the departure of Mario Ledesma and that is why the present takes on foundational touches.

Is the selected candidate to keep the title? No waybut Cheika is convinced that it will not be (again) the Cinderella of the tournament. The rival of the debut is, compared to the rest of the participating teams, the one that will give Los Pumas an idea of ​​its size. South Africa and New Zealand and South Africa will fight hand in hand for the title and if the Argentines are the stone in their shoes, the balance will be positive.

So what can you expect from Los Pumas? His response to adversity, something he accomplished in the July window. If they can hold onto that claw then they’ll be better off than they were at the last Rugby Championship, when they never managed to raise their heads. If that goal is met, which seems minimal, it will be a huge step forward.

“We can make a leap in quality”

Pablo Matera celebrates with his teammates in the win against Scotland.  (AP Photo/Gustavo Garello)

Pablo Matera celebrates with his teammates in the win against Scotland. (AP Photo/Gustavo Garello)

For Matías Orlando, the game against the wallabies it is hopeful. Beyond the quality and ability of the rival, for the wing the upcoming games represent the opportunity to enrich the present of Los Pumas.

“There were moments (in the test matches against Scotland) when we were seen to be subdued at the beginning of the second half. So we believe that we can make a leap in quality: this is a good starting point for us to improve”Orlando said.

According to the characteristics of the dates of this Rugby Championship, Orlando explained how the group records it. “Perhaps we experience it more as a mini series, first with Australia in Argentina, then in New Zealand and South Africa. But we know the opportunity we have here, mainly because of how we are working and how we are thinking of playing them.”he remarked.

The rivals of Argentina will be the wallabies, All Blacks Y Springboks How should we analyze the performance of Los Pumas? Orlando has it clear. “They are teams that, even playing poorly, end up winning 90 percent of the games they play. The result is analyzed a lot, but we all know what those three teams from the southern hemisphere. You can never trust yourself. I’m not basing myself on the lost series or the fact that they haven’t played well in a game, for me they’re still the best three in the world, so it’s going to be a very tough battle.”he predicted, ready to give that battle.

*Special envoy to Mendoza

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