Argentina

Counter-measures for Contempomi

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Ireland flanker Keith Gleeson believes controlling his Leinster team-mate Felipe Contepomi will be the key to winning Saturday’s Test against Argentina in Santa Fe.

Ireland meet the Pumas at Brigadier Estanislao Lopez stadium in the first of two games during their tour of the country.

Contempomi is one of the heavyweights in an Argentina side shorn of several first-choice players because of the Top 14 play-offs, but he can do enough damage on his own to leave Irelands struggling if given space.

Gleeson will be one of the back-row assigned to closing him down.
“He is a great player and we’ll have to take care of him,” he said on Thursday.

“We know Argentina are famous in scrummaging and mauling, so we have to stop both areas of their game and then try to keep Contepomi in the back line.”

“I’ve played alongside some Argentinian boys like Contepomi and Martin Durand, so I know them very well. There is a friendship so the game will be very enjoyable.”

“It will be a very tough match. Argentina and Ireland have developed a great history in the last two, three World Cups. There is a good spirit of rivalry.”

Gleeson, who will win his 26th cap on Saturday, is planning to help provide his backs with a lot of ball on Saturday, with their ability to exploit any space that may arise second-to-none on the international stage.

He said: “Argentina are always a very good pack, they set a very good platform thanks to their very strong pack. So I think our possibilities are beyond the pack.

“However, Argentina have wonderful runners behind them, so if we give them too much space then it’ll be a long, long day for us.”

Ireland have been drawn in the same group as Argentina at this autumn’s World Cup and coach Eddie O’Sullivan has already admitted facing the Pumas so close to the tournament is not what he would have wanted.

“It’s not ideal, but if you look at both sides neither of them will have full strength for this Test,” agreed Gleeson.

Gleeson is under no illusions that Saturday represents a great opportunity for a number of players to etch their names into O’Sullivan’s plans come September.

He added: “We have to consider that the players who are here on this tour are all given the opportunity to try and strengthen their claims for going to the World Cup, so what we have to do is to try and play our best to have a great result on Saturday.”

 

365 Digital

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