Bubble life has been a ‘struggle’, says Pumas coach

Argentina manager Mario Ledesma lamented two years of life ‘bubble’ but insists it was no excuse for Pumas’ poor results this year, which culminated in a 53-7 flogging against Ireland last Sunday.

Argentina, who have been unable to play at home for the past two years due to lockdown restrictions, have lost eight of their last nine tests – their only victory came against Italy earlier this month .

Their record-breaking loss to the Irish brought the curtain down on the players’ four-month presence, first in the rugby championship and then on their tour of the northern hemisphere.

Ledesma said the past two years had been trying for all involved in Argentine rugby at the highest level and the results reflected it – the only shining beacon of a historic victory over New Zealand in 2020.

“Obviously not playing at home for two years has been difficult because we’ve been in a bubble everywhere we’ve gone,” Ledesma said in his post-match press conference.

“Sometimes we have a day off where we can go sightseeing, but just for a photo and then we come back.”

The team are known to be a tight-knit unit, but Ledesma, 48, said she could still have spent time with her family.

“It was very hard on the players and we don’t have the budget to bring the families like other teams do, so it was difficult and they worked all year,” he said. .

“It’s a big demand for the players. We’re always talking about player well-being and mental health and then you go two years without playing at home and in a bubble… I challenge any team to do that. It would be a fight. “

Ledesma, who won 84 caps as a player, however insists that these drawbacks were not the only ones responsible for the poor race, especially Sunday’s loss in Dublin where Tomas Lavanini was sent off as the Irish competed in seven tries.

“It’s not an excuse,” he said. “These are the conditions in which we play and we did not get the results.

“We expected a different result today and we thought that until today we had a pretty good tour.

“A very good match against France [they lost 29-20], convincingly winning against Italy and then entering this game with three weeks of work. Obviously, we expected something else for today’s game.

© Agence France Presse

Photo: Getty Images

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