Rugby World Cup
Argentina coach Daniel Hourcade has no regrets over semifinal tactics
Tom Hamilton
October 25, 2015
Dominant Australia book final place

TWICKENHAM, London -- Argentina coach Daniel Hourcade says he has no regrets over his team's tactics for their semifinal defeat to Australia and hopes their Rugby World Cup legacy will be their willingness to attack and play attractive rugby.

The Pumas shipped an early try to Rob Simmons when a loose pass from Nicolas Sanchez inside their 22 fell into the Wallaby's hands for an easy score. Argentina were sometimes their worst enemies as they tried to play off their own tryline, a tendency that led to Adam Ashley-Cooper's first score, but despite those setbacks, Hourcade is happy with the tactics.

Argentina 15-29 Australia (Australia only)

"I am completely satisfied," says Hourcade. "I feel very proud of what the team has achieved but Australia played very well. They are a great team and if we played again, I would follow the same plan as this is what we always wanted. They weren't playing badly, the message was to continue trying to play. We wanted to stay on track and follow our plan."

Hourcade saw his side reduced to 14 men during the first half when Tomas Lavanini was sin-binned for a tackle on Israel Folau with Wayne Barnes deeming him not to have used his hands in bringing down the fullback. Hourcade questioned the call but did not criticise Barnes for the decision.

"The player stretched his arms and the impact meant he couldn't close his arms, there wasn't any intention there not to make the tackle. We have to respect those decisions."

Dismay for Australia© Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Their attention now shifts to the bronze final against South Africa and though his Springbok counterpart Heyneke Meyer dismissed it as a game that means little, Hourcade wants his team to finish with third place. "We need to see how those injured [Juan Martin Hernandez, Juan Imhoff and Agustin Creevy] are feeling and we need to recover," Hourcade said.

"They should be able to recover but if not, we have others who can come in. For us it means a lot. Every game does. In every game we try to reach the top and it would be fantastic to beat a great team like South Africa."

What next for Argentinian rugby?

Pumas captain Creevy echoed the coach's sentiments, saying: "We are very sad, very sad about losing. But there shouldn't be any reproach. We need to keep our heads up and think about Friday. We want to be in the top three so we need to get over this and try again. We will not be world champions but we want to finish third."

Argentina have won a number of fans at this World Cup with their preference for attacking from deep and favouring an expansive game rather than keeping it in the close quarters. Hourcade hopes the manner they played the game will be their legacy at this tournament.

"This team has always tried, sometimes we managed to achieve what we wanted, sometimes we didn't. It was harder today but we are on the right path. We are following the path we wanted and it's a learning curve.

"We will have to review our mistakes and will try to correct them. I am sure we are on the right path and this is what we are looking for in Argentina rugby. And I hope everyone shares this. Our legacy should be the way we played the game.

"We should be proud of this team, they gave it their all."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Tom Hamilton is the Associate Editor of ESPNscrum.

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