Pumas looking for strong starts against All Blacks

Argentina centre Marcelo Bosch believes that if the Pumas are still in the game against New Zealand in their last eight World Cup clash when a quarter-of-an-hour has ticked by at Eden Park on Sunday, then they will have a shot at sporting immortality.

For the Pumas to beat hosts New Zealand would qualify as one of the all-time stunning rugby upsets.

But for Bosch, who never expected to be at this World Cup, victory over the mighty All Blacks would not be as far-fetched as the chain of events that has taken him into a starting role in the Pumas’ midfield.

Bosch’s was seen largely as a back-up to Gonzalo Tiesi when Argentina named their original 30-man World Cup squad.

But Tiesi’s knee injury early in the Pumas’ first pool game against England thrust Biarritz Olympique midfielder Bosch into the spotlight.

The 27-year-old, who came to New Zealand with only five Tests under his belt, went on to feature in all four of Argentina’s group fixtures.

“This is a great moment for me, a great year, I cannot ask for more,” Bosch said Wednesday as the South Americans began tapering off ahead of their clash with the top-ranked All Blacks.

“A few months ago I was dreaming of living this experience. I had confidence in myself but in the end I can play because of an injury to my team-mate and you have to take advantage of the situation.”

Bosch said Argentina could not afford to be rattled by the pace of the All Blacks’ game and needed to focus on their traditional strength of setting a platform through their forwards.

“We need to play our game, to slow down the pace. If we follow their pace, it will be bad for us,” he said.

“We need to control the ball, and give it everything for the first 15 minutes and not concede any points.

“If in those 15 minutes they do not score, we could show them that we are there and that everything is posible”.

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