Argentina’s answer to All Blacks powerhouse Sonny Bill Williams has Australia on high alert over their offloading ability ahead of this weekend’s World Cup semi-final.
Argentina captain Agustin Creevy remains in doubt for Sunday’s clash at Twickenham with a leg injury but he poses a major threat to Australia after drawing comparisons with the dynamic dual international.
For the most part the pair share few similarities: Williams is built like an Adonis, while Creevy has the more attainable David Boon physique.
But the 30-year-old hooker has earned the nickname “Sonny Bill Creevy” due to his ability to draw defenders and get offloads away – much like Williams, who developed his freakish talents in the NRL and has perfected them in the 15-man game.
The 110kg Creevy was first given the moniker by fans at French club Montpellier during a popular three-year stint.
Showing rare skill for a burly forward, Creevy creates second phase play which opens up the field for Argentina’s dynamic backs – including speedy winger Juan Imhoff and fullback Joaquin Tuculet.
And it’s a part of Argentina’s game that has left the Wallabies wary heading into the elimination final.
“We will definitely look at trying to shut that down in the way we defend,” Wallabies five-eighth Bernard Foley said.
“We want two men in that tackle to not allow them to offload, if only one is going low.
“Every time they offload they get in behind and as a defensive line you have to retreat.
“So we really do want to stop their momentum in that regard, especially when their forwards carry.”
Traditionally renowned as a fearsome scrummaging nation, Argentina are increasingly adding to their reputation by playing carefree rugby.
But prop James Slipper believes that the Wallabies’ defensive structure, as dictated by defensive guru Nathan Grey, has the qualities to stop all attacking threats.
“They very skilful. I guess they don’t play the traditional type of game,” he said.
“They’ve got an offload, they will throw the ball around in parts of the field that most teams wouldn’t. And that’s a credit to the way they want to play at the moment.
“We’ve got a system in place with Nathan Grey in defence and it doesn’t matter who comes up against you in defence, what type of games come at you, that you’ll be able to do it, defend it well.
“If we defend it well (and) we bring that physical edge on top of that, then we’re confident we can stop anything.”