A good team, not a great team. Argentina have a willing forward pack but they leave rather a lot to be desired when it comes to attack. Wonderful supporters, and it will be fantastic to see them in the four nations next year. I will eat my hat if they become the All Black banana skin. Man, I’ve read this back and I sound so condescending. I don't mean to be, and I will be the first to doff my hat (and then eat it) if I’m proven wrong. I just can't really see it happening this time although if they take the All Blacks close, well that would be good. (But not that close).
Ferdy’s pick: quarter finalists.
Without Juan Martin Hernandez at 10, they were never going to go as deep in the draw as they did in 2007. Contepomi has struggled for form, and the old battleships up front have taken a pounding in this Cup. I think this game is one too far for them - they’ve lost Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe who wears his heart on his sleeve to injury. I think he was a catalyst for them. Their goalkicking numbers are dire.
Having them play adds something to a game - though they have never beaten us, they have come close, very close. Like France, they have two personalities on the field - the sublime backs, and the combative engine room. How will they play?
Such good players: Leguizamon, Ledesma, Camacho, Amorosino ... I’d be delighted if their resolve proved me wrong. God I wish we were like their fans. I reckon 750 Argentinians make more noise than 30,000 All Black fans. I so want to go to Buenos Aires in a few years to see a Quad Nations AB v Pumas Test!
I dunno - I don’t like to take them lightly, especially as this is knockout stuff ... but I just can’t see them beating New Zealand. I hope it is close, for both teams’ sakes. We certainly need the pressure if we are to make an impact in the net round.
Slugso Predict-O-Meter: All Blacks by 12