Pichot: Frogs showed fear
8 Sep 2007
Victorious Pumas captain Agustin Pichot said France looked “petrified” before the World Cup opener.
Pichot, one of nine members of Argentina’s starting XV who plays his rugby in France, twisted the knife into the Six Nations champions.
“That sort of look [of fear] is usual in the middle of a scrum, not before the first whistle,” he said. “But we can’t imagine the sort of pressure they are under as hosts playing in front of their own fans – that sort of thing isn’t easy.”
Pumas coach Marcelo Loffreda, who will join Leicester after the World Cup, praised his team for a courageous display.
“We are not the best technicians, we are not even the most physical, but we play with heart,” he said. “This won’t sink in for a while. We won’t know what we have done, because you never know the context, but this team has a hunger to write history.
“France have helped us to develop [our game], taking us in as their sons. We therefore offer the French our respect and thanks.”
France captain Raphael Ibanez said the 17-12 loss was a huge setback to the hosts, who now have to beat Ireland to reach the quarter-finals.
“It is a massive disappointment,” he said. “The Argentinian defence was fantastic, and they were able to slow down the ball.
“We still have three games to go in this group, and we will have to work even harder. The expectation on us for this first game was enormous, and we weren’t tough enough to deal with that.”