Hourcade: ‘We won’t change how we play’

Argentina head coach Daniel Hourcade believes his young squad are going down the right path and will not change how they play the game.

A loose pass from Nicolás Sánchez put los Pumas into a position where they were always chasing the game but they went on to produce some thrilling attacking rugby, despite failing to score a try.

"I’m completely satisfied. I feel very proud of what the team has achieved. But Australia played well, they‘re a great team. If we played again I’d follow the same plan because it’s what we always wanted," Hourcade said.

"From the first try to every time they scored the message was the same, not just at half-time – to carry on, try the things we worked on in training.

"We aren’t playing badly and we corrected many things, but we stayed to our plan. Sometimes it doesn’t work out because of mistakes or the opposition playing well, but such is the game. The players showed they can play well, but we couldn't score."

Hourcade also refused to blame the officials for two key decisions – Tomás Lavanini's yellow card and a possible forward pass for Adam Ashley-Cooper's third try.

Hourcade added: "[Lavanini] stretched out his arms, there was a big impact and he couldn’t wrap them around. I don’t think there was an intention for a no-arms tackle. But that’s the officials' conclusion and we have to respect those decisions.

"[On the pass] those things happen. It may have been forward, maybe not. It’s in the past and we have to accept it. Their calls can’t be questioned."

Next Friday's Bronze final will be an occasion that will mean a huge amount to Argentina according to Hourcade, rather than an unfortunate result of losing the semi-final.

Hourcade stated: "For us the game means a lot. Every game means a lot. In every game we’re trying to reach the top and it would be fantastic to beat such a great team like South Africa."

Hourcade was captured crying in the coaches box at the final whistle. Reflecting on Argentina's journey and the future for this team, he spoke with huge pride about their achievement and the message their efforts should send to the people back home.

"I think this team has always tried. Sometimes we achieved what we wanted, sometimes not, and there were some problems today, it was harder," he said.

"We’re on the right path with the idea of how we want to play. It’s a learning curve and we’ll have to review our mistakes and correct them, but we’ll follow this path because I’m sure it’s the right one for Argentine rugby. I hope our legacy from this tournament is the way we have played and the Pumas have always been committed.

"I cried because the players were very committed, engaged, they never gave up until the end looking for that try.

"We feel a huge pain now because we wear excited and emotional. But I feel very proud about these players and I feel for these players because they gave everything. I really congratulate them.

"I think everyone back home will agree that we should be very proud of this team.

"They gave it their all and they’re now empty, they left everything out there. Australia did what they had to do to win, but this team gave their all, and the message to the people back in Argentina should be that you should give it your all in everything you do."