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Rugby Championship
'Argentina gaining respect': Nicolas Sanchez
ESPN Staff
August 17, 2014
South Africa 13-6 Argentina (video available in Australia only)

Argentina's fly-half Nicolas Sanchez believes the Pumas are earning a better reputation with every outing in the Rugby Championship despite not winning a game in their three years in the competition. Although they went down 13-6 to South Africa in horrible conditions, Sanchez said the side feels they are gaining more respect after their solid performance.

"We have a feeling we are gaining more and more respect with each passing game because today we put South Africa under a lot of pressure and could have tied the game in the last minute," said the Pumas fly-half, who was one of the best performers.

Argentina's Pablo Matera runs the ball, South Africa v Argentina, Rugby Championship, Pretoria, August 16, 2014
Argentina struggled to keep ball in hand under the conditions © Getty Images
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Sanchez added the side was disappointed after they squandered several chances to snatch a try late in the match, but was happy with his forward pack who largely dominates South Africa in the scrums, rucks and mauls.

"We are really disappointed because I think we were really close to a result and let it escape. The forwards had a great game with both the lineouts and the scrums working well. But we are going to have to double that effort because we know South Africa will redouble their effort in Salta," he said.

New Argentina coach Daniel Hourcade echoed Sanches's sentiments and said the side would have work to do before their next match in Argentina.

"We are pleased with the performance but there are things to correct," Hourcade said.

Argentina have lost 12 of their 13 Rugby Championship clashes since joining the expanded competition in 2012. They drew with South Africa at home in Mendoza two year ago.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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