Pumas coach savours famous victory over the All Blacks
Argentina coach Mario Ledesma says that beating the All Blacks hasn’t quite sunk in but he expects to savour the occasion for years to come.
The Pumas beat the All Blacks 25-15 in a physical encounter in Sydney on Saturday 14 November.
Argentina fly-half Nicolas Sanchez scored all 25 of his teams points, kicking six penalty goals and his team’s only try which he would convert. His haul of 25 points set a new record for a single Pumas player in a Test against New Zealand.
Watch: Argentina 25-15 All Blacks highlights
Ledesma couldn’t quite believe what had happened after his side recorded their first-ever Test victory over the All Blacks.
“It’s surreal what happened, not just the result but playing, getting on the field after everything that has happened this year,” Ledesma said.
“Some of the boys haven’t seen their families for four months but they have all been positive… they have been awesome.
“I think we will remember this for a long time, not only the game but because of the special situation,” he added.
The All Blacks looked dead certainties to win the Rugby Championship after the withdrawal of the world champion Springboks but have now lost back-to-back Tests for the first time since 2011.
All Blacks coach Ian Foster felt that Argentina made the most of their long break, making up for rustiness with all out effort.
“Obviously from an All Black view we are bitterly disappointed with the result, with the way we played,” said Foster.
“But what I think we saw was a team that despite the disadvantage of not playing a lot of rugby … they have come here with massive energy and a desire to prove something to their country which has gone through a heck of a hard time.
“I want to congratulate them on the result, it is a bit of an historic day for them.”
Argentina came into the match without any rugby behind them, with most of their players playing their most recent matches for the Jaguares in the called off Super Rugby competition.
The Pumas made very little in the way of errors though during an eighty minute effort that will live long in the memory of the Argentines.
Skipper Pablo Matera epitomised the passion of the Pumas and even earned himself an early warning, his response was broadcast over the stadium’s PA making it clear that his team would not be disrespected by their illustrious opponents.
After building a big lead in the first half the Pumas ground down the All Blacks in the second half and late tries were not enough to get Foster’s team back into it.