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Los Pumas target medal against England

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: It might not be the Grand Final, however, Argentina are not short of motivation for the World Cup third-place game against England.

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The Los Pumas will play for the bronze medal after a 6-44 semifinal defeat to New Zealand on Friday.

The South Americans have never reached the final but have played for third place twice — winning in 2007 and losing in 2015.

Michael Cheika’s team will take on England, who suffered a narrow 15-16 semifinal loss to the South African on Saturday.

Argentina assistant coach Juan Fernández Lobbe admitted while it might not be the final, the team will give it their all to win the medal.

“It is a very important game,” Lobbe said, adding: “Go out, play a good game, improve what we did this weekend and end with the medal hanging – the same determination in my voice is that of everyone.

“Losing and winning with your team is not the same; no one likes to lose. However this a team that learns from its mistakes.

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“So we are going into third-place playoffs on Friday with total determination. I think with our way and our weapons, it would be a very good closing of the World Cup.”

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Lobbe added: “We wanted to play in the final and we couldn’t. However, the team made it clear, that finishing with a medal is important.

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“I was lucky to have both feelings [third place in 2007, fourth in 2015) and they are not the same.”

Lobbe said his team have a clear plan for England.

The two sides met in the pool stages where England were victorious.

“We will select the 23 players who we believe are best prepared for our closing game and who want to win.

“From what I know at the moment, there are no players ruled out, so everyone is available.”

He added: “I am convinced that the team has the focus and determination to have an excellent game and win on Friday. I saw it in their faces, in their expressions and I could feel it.”

Argentina will take on England on Friday.

Source: World Rugby

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