Wallabies not feeling Pumas pressure

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    The Wallabies say they’ll treat this weekend’s Test against Argentina like any other despite facing the prospect of their worst-ever start to the Rugby Championship.

    The pressure is mounting on the Australians after they blew a 10-point lead against South Africa in Perth on Saturday night and were forced to settle for a 23-23 draw.

    That followed two losses to New Zealand, meaning a defeat to Argentina in Canberra this Saturday would culminate in their most dismal start to the four-nations competition.

    In 2013 they opened with three losses but at least cracked a win in their fourth match, against the Pumas in Perth that year.

    It would also continue Australian rugby’s year of woe, with no Super Rugby team able to defeat a New Zealand outfit and the Test ranking sliding to world No.5.

    Skipper Michael Hooper said the Wallabies’ approach wouldn’t be any different to any other Test match despite the high stakes.

    “Every Test match is big for us and we’re treating it as a final and that’s what the Pumas deserve,” Hooper said.

    The draw with the Boks’ was the second successive match they’d given up a lead, and while Hooper felt the team was still getting comfortable in “building a game”, there are positive signs.

    “We were in control and allowed South Africa to come back into the game through mistakes creeping in as opposed to sticking to what we do well and letting it snow-ball into a solid victory,” he said.

    “We’re growing as a team so when we get into those moments we’re comfortable with it; we are starting to see the fruits of our labour.”

    Hooper said the Wallabies would need to improve their discipline and their set-piece and maul against the physical Pumas, whose backline showed plenty of flair in their spirited loss to the All Blacks in New Plymouth last weekend.

    The young captain said his team needed to follow the lead of veteran centre Kurtley Beale, who was the stand-out against South Africa.

    “Kurtley’s been full of confidence,” Hooper said.

    “He’s the lifeblood of the team when it’s going well and he got us out of a tricky situation against South Africa and his step forward in leadership has been fantastic.”

    © AAP 2017