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HomesportArgentina hail work ethic as they come from behind to beat Wales

Argentina hail work ethic as they come from behind to beat Wales

MARSEILLE : Argentina coach Michael Cheika said his side’s fight back from a 10-point deficit to beat Wales 29-17 in Saturday’s Rugby World Cup quarter-final was a reward for months of hard work.

“These players are such good people, without getting too emotional,” said a beaming Cheika after the clash at the Stade de Marseille where Argentina became the first side into the semi-finals

“They have worked really hard and I think that hard work showed at the end of the game today.

“They wanted to fight for it, they wanted to earn it. We were behind so it takes a bit of leg work. The whole 23 along with the 10 who didn’t play put in a huge effort.”

For captain Julian Montoya success was the culmination of a long road walked together.

“I think it comes from our personality and the way that we train. We’ve been preparing for this a lot. Nothing is too easy for us for the last couple of years,” he said.

“We trust each other. We are a very tight group. I know you just see the 15 on the pitch or the 23 but there is a group of people behind us who are unbelievable. They work day and night. We are the fortunate guys who wear the jersey but this is a team effort.

“We know it is not going to be perfect; life is not perfect. It’s how you embrace the moment and fight for each other. That’s what rugby is about.”

Argentina now await the identity of their semi-final opponents when Ireland and New Zealand clash later on Saturday in Paris.

“Two more weeks with this team. I don’t want this to end ever,” added Montoya. “We need to be better, to be clinical in a lot of things. I know I can be more demanding but I am very proud of this team.”

But Cheika said he was not looking too far ahead just yet.

“I don’t know if we’ll go with the sweeping statements just yet. We will wait and see. We are just thrilled to be going to Paris, we haven’t had a taste of it yet at this World Cup.

“We will look at tonight’s game and I know we won’t be favourites in the semis but we’ll be giving it our best.”

(Writing by Mark Gleeson in Paris; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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