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'It’s gonna be a good day’: Pumas ‘feeling very good’ before Wallabies clash

By Finn Morton
Julián Montoya of Argentina (C) talks to the team after the Rugby Championship match between Argentina and New Zealand at Estadio Malvinas Argentinas on July 8, 2023 in Mendoza, Argentina. (Photo by Gaspafotos/MB Media/Getty Images)

On a perfect day in Greater Western Sydney, Los Pumas playmakers including Nicolas Sanchez and Emiliano Boffelli ran out onto CommBank Stadium as they continued to prepare for the Wallabies.


With nobody in the stands – other than a few cleaners who were preparing the venue for Saturday’s Rugby Championship clash – the kickers took shots at goal and passed the ball between themselves.

Tighthead prop Francisco Gomez Kodela, who is set to pack down opposite Wallabies captain James Slipper at scrum time, watched on from the sidelines.

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Gomez Kodela is expecting a tough challenge against a big Wallabies pack, saying the set piece is going to be a “very big” factor for both sides.

With just over 24 hours to go until the Test, Gomez Kodela spoke with reporters on the sideline as the playmakers continued to ply their trade out in the middle.

“We’re feeling very good. We had a tough week against the All Blacks but it was a very good week of training and preparation here in Coogee,” the front rower said on Friday afternoon.

“It’s gonna be a good day for us tomorrow.”



Much like the Wallabies, Los Pumas are coming off a disastrous loss.

Argentina opened their 2023 season against the All Blacks in Mendoza last weekend, and shot out of the blocks with a strong start.

The Pumas controlled possession for the opening four minutes of that contest, but then, the All Blacks beast woke up.

New Zealand went on a 31-point blitz in the first half, and never looked like surrendering their throughout the second term.

The visitors ended up winning that Test 41-12.

“When you (concede) 40 points, it’s not what you were planning but it’s part of the process. It’s the first game of our season,” he added.


“We’re preparing for a big target, the World Cup, so there was no panic. We know what we did wrong and we’re trying to fix it.

“We acknowledge what we did wrong and we tried to fix as much as we can for tomorrow, even though it’s a different team, a different style of play.

“We’re gonna try to fix what we did wrong just to get a different outcome.”

The Wallabies’ loss to South Africa was very similar. Marika Koroibete opened the scoring in the eighth minute, but the world champions took control from there.

South Africa ended up winning 43-12 in Pretoria, where saw the Aussies fall to a losing start under new coach Eddie Jones.

“They’re an awesome team. It’s very difficult to play in South Africa against the Springboks so everything needs to be put in context.

“They must be hurt so it’s going to be a very big game tomorrow because we are the same.”


Argentina are full of confidence ahead of their clash with the Wallabies, as they prepare to take the field at a venue that they know very well.

During the pandemic, Los Pumas defeated the All Blacks for the first time ever at the Parramatta venue in 2020. Argentina has also drawn with the Wallabies there.

As Gomez Kodela put it, the team has “beautiful memories’ of their time in Sydney.

Argentina will take on Australia at Sydney’s CommBank Stadium at 7.45 pm AEST on Saturday evening. Earlier, the All Blacks host fierce rivals South Africa in South Auckland.


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1 Comment
Utiku Old Boy 371 days ago

blah, blah, blah. Performance and results matter. Who has the most to lose from this match? Cheika and EJ talk a lot but will be judged by the results of this match. Let's see who has learned from last week and can rectify their game to get a result. Either way, these two teams have a lot to prove for their support base.

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Shaylen 5 hours ago
Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma

These guys will be utility players Nick it cannot be helped because coaches cannot help themselves. Rassie looks at players like these and sees the ability to cover multiple positions without losing much. It allows the 6-2 or 7-1. He wont change his coaching style or strategy for one player. At provincial level players like these are indispensable. If there is an injury to your starting 12 but your back up 12 is a bit iffy then a coach is going to go with the back up 10 who is gold and who can play a good 12. Damian Willemse for the Springboks is an obvious case, for the Stormers its the same. Dobson plays him at 12 or 15, with Gelant in the team he plays 12 but if Gelant goes down he doesnt go for his back up 15, he just puts Willemse there. With Frawley its the same at international and provincial level. He just slots in wherever. Frans Steyn made a career out of it. He was much maligned though as a youngster as he never fully developed into any role. He then went to Japan and France to decide for himself what kind of player he was, put on muscle and retained his big boot, ran over players and booted the ball long and came back into the Springboks after about 3 years away and was then certain about how he wanted to play the game no matter what position. Coaches cannot help themselves because they only want what is best for their teams and that means putting your most talented players on even if it means you cause them some discomfort. Sometimes players need to decide how they want to play the game and then adapt that to every position and let the coach decide how they want to use them.

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Jon 11 hours ago
Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma

I think the main problem here is the structure of both countries make up. They are going to have very similar.. obstacles(not problems). It will just be part of the evolution of their rugby and they’ll need to find a way to make this versatility more advantageous than specialization. I think South Africa are well on the way to that end already, but Ireland are more likely to have a hierarchical approach and move players around the provinces. Ioane is going to be more than good enough to lock up one of those available positions for more than a few years I believe though. Morgan would definitely be a more long term outlook. Sacha to me has the natural footwork of a second five. Not everything is about winning, if a team has 3 players that want to play 10s just give them all a good go even if its to the detriment of everyone, this is also about dreams of the players, not just the fans. This is exactly how it would be in an amateur club setting. Ultimately some players just aren’t suited to any one position. The example was of a guy that had size and speed, enough pace to burn, power to drive, and speed to kick and pass long, but just not much else when it came to actual rugby (that matched it). New Zealand has it’s own example with Jordie Barrett and probably shows what Reece Hodge could have been if the game in Australia had any administration. Despite the bigger abundance of talent in NZ, Jordie was provided with consistent time as a fullback, before being ushered in as a second five. Possibly this was due to his blood, and another might not have been as fortunate, but it is what it was, a complete contrast to how Hodge was used in Australia, were he could have had any position he wanted. When it comes down to it though, much like these young fellas, it will be about what they want, and I think you’ll find they’ll be like Hodge and just want to be as valuable to the team as they can and play wherever. It’s not like 63 International Cap is a hard thing to live with as a result of that decision!

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