Juan Manuel Leguizamon urges Argentina to be at their best against All Blacks

Argentina will face New Zealand in New Plymouth on Saturday
Argentina will face New Zealand in New Plymouth on Saturday

Argentina international Juan Manuel Leguizamon has urged his side to be at their best when they face back to back world champions New Zealand in the upcoming Rugby Championship encounter at Yarrow Stadium.

The Pumas have lost both their games against South Africa in the tournament so far and are hoping for a turnaround when they face Steve Hansen's men on Saturday.

In the 28 games between the two teams, New Zealand have won 27 out of it and the best result achieved by Argentina was in 1985 when they drew the match 21-21 at Buenos Aires.

Nevertheless, the 34-year-old is unfazed by the challenge ahead and is hoping to create history against the All Blacks.

"We know we must play a perfect game to have our chance. Otherwise it's going to be very, very difficult. We know that.

"We are trying to have a perfect week and a perfect game. We know it's hard but we believe in our weapons and we trust in that."

Highlighting the defeats against Springboks, Leguizamon, who has featured in 78 Tests for the Pumas believes staying positive and striking balance between attack and defence will be the key.

"We need a better defence definitely," he said.

"We defended quite well in the first game in South Africa, but we defended for a lot of time.

"We need to mix good defence with good attack. It's a pretty easy answer but it's very hard to do it. A perfect game of rugby means perfect defence and pretty effective attack."

Since his debut for Argentina in 2005, he has played against All Blacks on 10 occasions which ended in defeats. Speaking about the upcoming two games against New Zealand, Leguizamon believes his team cannot take their foot off the pedal for the entire 80 minutes when facing the number one side in the world.

"It's never enough. We must be focused for 80, 82 or 84 minutes when we play against the All Blacks and be preparing in our heads to play that game. It's the most important game you play in your career, so we must prepare in our heads for that.

"It's very hard playing against the All Blacks when they put the intensity high. I don't know how, but we have to do it. We have to be focused for 80 minutes and play only good rugby."


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