Mario Ledesma rues missed chance in Argentina's defeat to New Zealand

Mario Ledesma was frustrated by Argentina's performance against New Zealand
Mario Ledesma was frustrated by Argentina's performance against New Zealand
©Steve Haag

Argentina head coach Mario Ledesma said the Pumas failed to capitalise on an unusual performance from New Zealand at Estadio Velez Sarsfield that saw them lose 17-35.

The win also meant the All Blacks went on to clinch the Rugby Championship title for the third consecutive year and it came after a double from Reiko Ioane followed by tries from Waisake Naholo, Patrick Tuipulotu and Anton Lienert-Brown.

However, Ledesma, who led Argentina to impressive wins over South Africa and Australia earlier in the tournament expressed disappointment on the performance of the team on Saturday against the World Champions.

“They weren’t the normal All Blacks that we were playing tonight,” he said.

“I don’t think they were that clinical but we couldn’t deliver; we underperformed in terms of delivery from scrum and lineout. In your (New Zealand) scrums we got dominated and we couldn’t do the simple things right.

“We had a lot of missed opportunities from scrum and lineout and even simple breaks. I think we had as many breaks as they did but we couldn’t score.

“The only thing I wanted to see from the boys was ourselves and I couldn’t see it.”

Meanwhile, New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen will be relieved to return back to winning ways after their only defeat in the tournament that came against South Africa in the previous round with a 34-36 margin.

“We were better. But you don’t go from naught to 100 straight away,” he said.

“There will be some more learnings for us but, when you look at who was out there on the park at the end, it was a pretty young group, so you have to be really pleased with how they coped with some of the pressure.

“I thought our kicking was better tonight, maybe not as accurate as we would like, but we kicked to the right places, and at the right times, a lot more than we did a couple of weeks ago.

“At times we played some good footy and at other times we didn’t play that great. But you’ve got to give a wee bit of credit to Argentina, too, they’re a very difficult side to play against, particularly here.”