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Argentina want to put doubt into Irish minds in the World Cup quarter

The Toulon back row is well aware of how knock-out rugby works.

Murray Kinsella reports from the Vale Resort

ARGENTINA BACK ROW Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe wants his side to put doubt in Irish minds in tomorrow’s World Cup quarter-final at the Millennium Stadium.

The Pumas pose a major threat to Ireland’s hopes of earning a first-ever semi-final in the competition, with their attractive brand of rugby having brought the Argentinians 22 tries over the course of three wins and a defeat to New Zealand in Pool C.

Rugby Union - Rugby World Cup 2015 - Pool C - Argentina v Georgia - Kingsholm Stadium Source: PA Wire/PA Images

Argentina have been in a World Cup semi-final before of course, beating Ireland in the group stages of that 2007 tournament, and Fernández Lobbe feels that the mental side of this knock-out tie can be swung into his team’s favour early on.

“In a way, yes, because in these type of games when you lose, you’re out,” said the Toulon back row yesterday at Argentina’s hotel in the Vale Resort. “The most important thing is to be sure of what you’re doing and get control of the game.

As soon as you play with a lot of confidence, either in defence or attack, and you start making doubt in the other team, it becomes a little easier.

“The best thing for us will be to just focus on the process, on what we need to do, and try to make them doubt. If you doubt, your confidence goes down and you start maybe instead of throwing the pass, you keep it.

“All those things that you know in these type of games, can be the difference between wining and losing.”

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Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Fernández Lobbe is more than experienced enough to appreciate the quality of opposition the Pumas face tomorrow, however. Asked to pinpoint their strengths, he lauded an Irish set-piece that must cope with the absence of Paul O’Connell tomorrow.

“I think they have a great scrum, we’ve been analysing it this week,” said Fernández Lobbe.

They have 95% of good, clean ball to play from and that’s really, really good. They don’t give away penalties from it and then they have a great lineout.

They have lost maybe their leader, but we saw (Devin) Toner during last week’s game that he took control of the lineout and he’s a really good lineout caller. After that, one of the things that impresses me most is the way they keep the ball.

“They have a really good ratio in the rucks, I think they finished with 97% (rucks won) in the pool stages.

“That means we need to be very clinical with the ball, we need to use it very well, because if we give the ball away it’s maybe going to get very complicated to recover it.”

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Murray Kinsella

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