Larrikin Wallabies flanker Ned Hanigan is treating Argentina as a serious threat in Saturday’s Tri-Nations test, adamant they won’t arrive flat after a historic defeat of New Zealand last weekend.
Los Pumas beat the All Blacks for the first time last Saturday, helped in the coaching box by former Wallabies mentor Michael Cheika.
The result has thrown the Tri-Nations tournament wide open ahead of Saturday’s clash in Newcastle, after the Wallabies had snapped a losing run of their own against the Kiwis the previous week.
Hanigan was handed his first test cap by Cheika three years ago and wasn’t surprised by what he saw.
“Having Cheik in the team, he has that motivating aspect and knows Australian rugby very well so he’ll definitely be an asset (on Saturday),” Hanigan said.
“He just loves winning … he hates losing and loves winning so I think he’s taking both.”
The free-wheeling Argentina, powered by an impressive forward pack, have upset the Wallabies in the past when given the chance.
With Argentina’s tail already up its the unforced errors Hanigan knows could cost them again as the Wallabies look to turn their last-start defeat of the All Blacks two weeks ago into a habit.
“The passion and pride they’ve got in the jersey; you could see the reaction after the game,” he said.
“That on-field energy you keep building with the bloke next to him, the key is for us to not give them the opportunities to get those sort of moments.
“In past games we’ve probably thrown the willy-nilly (pass) out the back … that sort of stuff just lets the momentum keep building in the opposition’s favour.”
After nearly two years out of the side, Waratahs talent Hanigan has featured in three of four games under new Australian coach Dave Rennie.
But he knows his test future is up in the air as he prepares to leave Super Rugby for Japan next year.
“I haven’t really given it much though but you’re right, it’s just the two (tests) to go and hopefully I might be back,” Hanigan, who won’t qualify to play for Australia under current eligibility laws, said.
“If you’re in these environments when it’s all happening and on the go, if you look too far you miss stuff, the little things that are enjoyable.
“It’s probably going to come around really quick.”
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