Weary, winless Pumas need rest: Ledesma


Winless Argentina’s Rugby Championship came to a close with a loss to Australia, but coach Mario Ledesma hailed his team’s character at the end of a long journey.

Six Pumas players were ruled out of the game on the Gold Coast after violating pandemic protocols on an unofficial day trip to Byron Bay.

Argentina’s makeshift team lost 32-17 to the Wallabies, with injuries and weariness taking their toll on a tired team that hadn’t played a home Test in two years.

“They’ve been playing for a year,” Ledesma remarked.

“They ended their seasons in Europe and traveled to the July internationals to compete. After ten days of vacation, we were playing South Africa two or three weeks later.

“This isn’t the ideal method to get ready. They require some rest.”

Ledesma’s team, on the other hand, will not be taking a break in November, with Tests scheduled against France, Italy, and Ireland in Europe.

Despite their struggles, the Pumas closed the competition on a high note, with two tries from Thomas Gallo giving the scoreline a respectable sheen against a Wallabies team who led 32-3 after less than an hour.

“In the second half, I thought we had ten minutes where they scored simple tries, like really easy tries,” Ledesma remarked.

“And then there was a demonstration of character as well, after two months of hard work and sacrifice, especially after a rough week, the guys shown character.

“The game may be over, but you still have to finish it.”

The departure of the sextet, which comprised Santiago Medrano and Pablo Matera, had an unquantifiable impact on Ledesma’s team as they sought their first win in the Rugby Championship this season.

“Calculating it is extremely difficult,” he remarked. “How are you doing? It’s simply intangible. There isn’t anything concrete here. There’s no way of knowing how much this affected the game.

“However, I thought the guys who came off the bench, who hadn’t played the entire tournament, were fairly good.”

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