Michael Cheika

Will Jordan (R) of the All Blacks is tackled by Pablo Matera of the Pumas during the Round 4 Rugby Championship match between the Argentina Pumas and the New Zealand All Blacks at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia, 18 September 2021. Photo: EPA/DARREN ENGLAND

Michael Cheika lauds impact of Scott Robertson on Pumas skipper

Argentina coach Michael Cheika has praised the impact Scott Robertson has had on Pumas skipper Pablo Matera.

Michael Cheika

Will Jordan (R) of the All Blacks is tackled by Pablo Matera of the Pumas during the Round 4 Rugby Championship match between the Argentina Pumas and the New Zealand All Blacks at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia, 18 September 2021. Photo: EPA/DARREN ENGLAND

Argentina coach Michael Cheika has praised the impact Scott Robertson has had on Pumas skipper Pablo Matera.

Matera has spent a spell at the Crusaders, becoming an important player for the kings of Super Rugby and sitting under the learning tree.

Scott Robertson changes Pablo Matera

Speaking after engineering a first Argentina win over New Zealand, Cheika appeared to be taking a subtle dig at All Blacks coach Ian Foster in his praise of Robertson.

Michael Cheika
Former Wallabies boss Michael Cheika. Photo: Backpagepix

“I think that the Crusaders have made a really huge mark, and Scott Robertson has made a really huge mark on Pablo,” Cheika said.

“It shows the quality of the franchise and the coaching here, he’s come back a heaps better player — mentally and technically.”

Argentina are prepared to step up once again next week when they expect a big response from the All Blacks.

“It’s a blockbuster because they’re going to be coming with everything,” Cheika added.

“It’ll be a great lesson for us on how to handle these situations when they’ll be coming hard. We’ve got to bring something as well to match it.”

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Michael Cheika vs Ian Foster

Foster believes that the Pumas were allowed to get away with spoiling tactics in their historic victory over his ailing All Blacks.

“Overall I just felt that they got away with some stuff at the breakdown, not releasing the ball carrier on the ground, and we weren’t able to deal with it,” said Foster.

“It was an area we got hammered in the penalty count at critical times. I’m probably a little bit bemused by some of that.”

Cheika was in no mood to deal with Foster’s comments diplomatically and fired back.

“Well, he’d be an expert on it because his team does it all the time, so he should know,” the former Wallabies coach said.

“I don’t know if that’s the right response after the game.”