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Los Pumas and Italy aiming to snap miserable losing streaks

By AAP
(Photos / Getty Images)

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One miserable rugby union test streak will end this weekend.

Italy host Argentina in Treviso on Saturday with both teams desperate for an overdue taste of victory.

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The Azzurri are on a 15-match losing streak since the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

The Pumas’ streak has grown to seven consecutive tests since July, including a winless Rugby Championship.

Neither team cares at this point about how they look on the field. They just want to win.

“We are going to do what we have to do to win,” Argentina centre Matias Moroni said.

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“If we have to play ugly, we will play ugly. If it suits us to play cute, we will do that. It will depend on what we set out to do to win.

“Some criticise South Africa’s (kick-first, power) game but they win. Others play cute and lose.

“There’s a way to play cute and a way to win.”

Argentina succumbed 29-20 to France last weekend in their European tour opener.

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Moroni believed they can’t afford to think about their losing streak.

“If you keep thinking about what has happened, you put pressure on yourself and it makes no sense,” he said.

Kieran Crowley, Italy’s third coach during their losing streak, agreed.

He took some positives – notably an aggressive defence – from his first match in charge, the predictable 47-9 loss to New Zealand in Rome last weekend.

“Among our aims, apart from getting positive results, is also that of creating a precise identity and gaining respect on an international level,” Crowley said.

“Those factors came out strongly.”

The Argentines have dominated the match-up since 2008.

Team lineups

Italy: Matteo Minozzi, Edoardo Padovani, Juan Ignacio Brex, Luca Morisi, Montanna Ioane, Paolo Garbisi, Stephen Varney; Giovanni Licata, Michele Lamaro (captain), Sebastian Negri, David Sisi, Niccolo Cannone, Marco Riccioni, Gianmarco Lucchesi, Ivan Nemer.

Reserves: Luca Bigi, Danilo Fischetti, Pietro Ceccarelli, Marco Fuser, Federico Ruzza, Giovanni Pettinelli, Alessandro Fusco, Federico Mori.

Argentina: Emiliano Boffelli, Santiago Cordero, Matias Moroni, Jeronimo de la Fuente, Mateo Carreras, Santiago Carreras, Tomas Cubelli; Facundo Isa, Juan Martin Gonzalez, Pablo Matera; Tomas Lavanini, Marcos Kremer, Francisco Gomez Kodela, Julian Montoya (captain), Thomas Gallo.

Reserves: Facundo Bosch, Ignacio Calles, Santiago Medrano, Lucas Paulos, Santiago Grondona, Gonzalo Bertranou, Nicolas Sanchez, Lucio Cinti.

– AP

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