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‘We beat them twice and we know how to do it’: Pumas ready for ABs

By Finn Morton
Argentina celebrate after defeating New Zealand during The Rugby Championship match between the New Zealand All Blacks and Argentina Pumas at Orangetheory Stadium on August 27, 2022 in Christchurch, New Zealand. (Photo by Joe Allison/Getty Images)

After beating the All Blacks twice in three years, Argentina are full of confidence ahead of their highly anticipated Rugby Championship opener in Mendoza this weekend.


Los Pumas believe they “know how” to beat the All Blacks.

Argentina shocked the rugby world on neutral ground in 2020 when they defeated the New Zealanders for the first-time ever in Sydney.

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While that famous result will echo throughout time as a landmark moment for both Argentine and South American rugby, the Pumas outdid themselves a couple of years later.

The All Blacks were a shadow of their former selves during a slow start to their international campaign last year.

Defeats to Ireland and South Africa saw the All Blacks slump to an uncharacteristically poor run of form.

But there was hope – or so the New Zealand rugby public thought.


Back in front of their home fans in Christchurch, the All Blacks were expected to beat Argentina, and get their season back on track by doing so.


But Los Pumas had another idea.

Argentina held on for an incredible 25-18 win in the south island – their first win over the All Blacks in New Zealand. History was made, but Los Pumas want more.

“We know what it means to play against New Zealand in Argentina and what team they are, but we are focused on us,” replacement Santiago Grondona told reporters on Friday.

“We had a great week in which we prepared very well and we hope that everything will come out on the pitch tomorrow.


“We trust in our team and the most important thing is that we are united.

“We beat them twice and we know how to do it and it will depend on how we feel tomorrow. Let’s go for another victory.”

While there’s plenty of chatter about this year’s World Cup within the rugby community, both Argentina and New Zealand are taking their seasons one Test at a time.

This rivalry is always played with passion, fury and intent. Both teams are eager to start their 2023 campaigns on a winning note.

The Pumas have never beaten the All Blacks in Argentina, but are clearly ready to rewrite history once again as they prepare to host their southern hemisphere rivals on Saturday (local time).

“Without a doubt, it is the goal we have: to beat the All Blacks in Argentina for the first time in history,” he added.

“The motivation is there and we will see what happens tomorrow.”

Speaking with reporters at Marista Rugby Club in the south of Mendoza after the All Blacks’ captains run on Friday afternoon, Sam Cane said this Test will be a “battle of collisions.”

Cane expects the battle between the forward packs to play a major role on Saturday, and Grondona has predicted a similar challenge.

“I think that rugby matches are always won with the forwards, and the difference will be that we prevail there.

“It will be a tough battle tomorrow.”

Los Pumas will take on the All Blacks in Mendoza at 7.10 am on Sunday morning (New Zealand time).


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1 Comment
Jmann 378 days ago

yes - just get an inexperienced ref and have some ABs red carded....

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Shaylen 6 hours ago
Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma

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