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Argentina captain Agustin Creevy: Diego Maradona visit "a beautiful surprise"

Argentina captain Agustin Creevy revealed Diego Maradona's dressing room dance has inspired them to push for Rugby World Cup glory.

Football great Maradona was at the King Power Stadium to see the Pumas move to the brink of quarter-final qualification.

They cruised past Tonga 45-16 in Leicester and will reach the last eight with victory in their final Pool C game against Namibia.

Fly-half Nicolas Sanchez's kicking was deadly and he also scored a late try as Juan Imhoff became his country's record World Cup try-scorer during a first-half blitz.

Maradona visited the Pumas' dressing room after the game and danced with the squad to Rodrigo Bueno's song 'The Hand of God', written in the footballer's honour.

Creevy said: "He said the whole of Argentina was dreaming with us and everyone was behind us and supporting us. He was here because he wanted to be a part of this. We sung and danced and it was lots of fun.

"It was something different and I could never imagine he would have been there with. It was a beautiful surprise for all of us.

"For me, Maradona was always the best player in history and it was a very nice surprise to have him visit us. There were videos, he took the nine, 10 and two shirts, he gave us one of his shirts as well and gave us a speech.

"He said if we reach the semi-final he will be there. He has set us a very high goal and we hope he will be there again."

Joaquin Tuculet, Santiago Cordero and Julian Montoya also went over as Argentina recovered from conceding an early try from Kurt Morath but Creevy admitted it was not the perfect performance.

He added: "It was not a dream game, there were mistakes in the game, in defence and in terms of the attack there were cases where we had an opportunity to score and it didn't happen.

"It was a good experience. We will take the negative points away with us to improve and start thinking about Namibia and the quarter-finals, hopefully."

Morath missed five kicks during the game to put his side under pressure and they never recovered after half-time despite an impressive opening.

They face New Zealand in their final game and while they are not mathematically out of the tournament captain Nili Latu vowed they will go down fighting.

"We'll regroup and come out twice as hard against the All Blacks," he said.

"You have to come out fighting, I am really proud of my boys and we have one more game against the All Blacks. I guess we got off the blocks really slowly against Georgia and we came into this game with the mindset of winning against Argentina.

"We believed we were in the game until the 68th minute but we let ourselves down with poor control and discipline. It's something we have to look at and fix going into the All Blacks game.

"Looking at Argentina they are one of the top teams in the world and they pushed the All Blacks. We are going to take a lot of confidence from this and work on the mistakes we made."


From Belfast Telegraph