Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 24 September 2014

Kidney wary of versatile Argentina

Declan Kidney

Declan Kidney has warned his Ireland team that Argentina will pursue more than one avenue of attack when the rivals collide in Dublin tomorrow.

The Pumas are feared for their attritional forward play but Kidney believes that with Felipe Contepomi directing operations, they are also capable of broadening their horizons.

"Argentina are hugely powerful up front. If they're not the best scrummaging unit in the world they're in the top group," said the head coach.

"They've picked five forwards and two backs on the bench so it's no secret what area they'll have a go at us.

"But with Contepomi at fly-half they can play in various ways, going wide or kicking. They're not just physical, they're skilful too.

"They're good at carrying the ball and retaining possession for long periods of time."

The last time the sides met was at Croke two years ago when Ireland secured a 17-3 victory that ensured their status as a second tier nation at the 2011 World Cup.

Argentina will leapfrog the Irish in the world rankings if they prevail Sunday, but Kidney insists the standings are now of secondary interest.

"It's only when the rankings have a material effect like they did two years ago that you pay much attention to them," he said.

"Sunday is about winning a Test match and the rankings points will take care of themselves as a result of that. The rankings aren't at the forefront of our minds like they were two years ago."

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