Argentina say they’ll need to step up their defence against the Wallabies but they believe they have the firepower to earn a maiden Rugby World Cup final appearance.
Once known only for their scrummaging, the Pumas have expanded their repertoire to add attacking threats across the backline since joining New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa in the annual Rugby Championship.
They will go into Sunday’s semi-final against Australia at Twickenham sitting second only to the All Blacks in try-scoring in this World Cup.
They have run in 26 tries while New Zealand lead with 34.
The Wallabies have crossed for 22 tries, but came through a tougher group including other top-10 teams Wales, England and Fiji.
Flying Argentina winger Juan Imhoff said the Wallabies would be considered favourites, given they’ve won 19 and drawn one of the previous 24 encounters against Argentina, including 10 of the last 11, but that suited the Pumas.
“Australia is a very tough team, and they are one small step up in terms of our game,” said Imhoff, who is equal second in the tournament try-scoring list with five.
“We have to focus on different things than focused on against Ireland.
“They are a team that opens up the field, gives great impetus to the ball with quick phases. We will have to focus there, to defend with more intensity, and in attack we must continue on this path because we have been doing things right.”
The Pumas had a breakthrough in the Rugby Championship in October 2014, when they rallied to beat Australia for the first time – 21-17 – in Mendoza.
It can happen again, Imhoff said, “If we play the game of our lives.
“I know this team is not satisfied with what we’ve achieved up to here. We know that if we leave everything in the semifinal” the final is within reach.