Argentina Jaguars coach Mauricio Reggiardo had much to smile about after seeing his charges overpower British Columbia's Bears 35-11 to claim the inaugural Americas Rugby Championship title in Canada over the weekend.
Reggiardo, a veteran of 50 Tests for the Pumas between 1996 and 2003, was not only pleased with the opportunity his players had to play two matches against North American opposition, but also their disciplined approach and team spirit.
"What we take away from this competition is extremely good, in that the boys were given the chance to play against physically strong opposition, and the positive thing is that they followed the game plan at all times," he explained.
"We played against a very aggressive team, but the players were very disciplined and they weren't sucked into the game that they wanted us to play. They followed the game plan to the letter, put up a good defence and it worked very well. We were also dominant in the scrum.
"We raised the bar every day here, the spirit in the camp was good and that was reflected on the field. This is a very tight-knit team that plays from the heart and responds well to adversity.
"Now we are going to enjoy what we achieved today, then we'll analyse what went on and think about how we use that analysis to improve."
The Jaguars, Argentina's second string, entered the Americas Rugby Championship at the semi final stage against the USA Selects with the top two Canadian provincial teams after a round robin contesting the other.
They signalled their arrival in the Championship with an emphatic eight-try 57-10 victory in Glendale, Colorado to set up the final meeting with BC Bears, Benjamín Urdapilleta contributing 22 points for the Jaguars.
The Jaguars had to come from behind, having trailed the Bears 11-7 at one stage in the final played at Fletcher's Fields in Markham, but cut loose with four tries, including one late in the first half by Benjamín Macome.
"On balance what we take away from these two matches is positive as we put into practice a lot of things that we worked on in training and showed that we can do them well. We go away happy, knowing that we gave everything," he said.
"The attitude of the team was key to the win today, as we faced a very physical outfit and a powerful pack of forwards. Luckily we managed to get the better of that and come away with the victory."
The Jaguars will finish up their time in North America with a friendly against Canada A at the Chatham-Kent Community Athletic Complex in Chatham, Ontario, on Wednesday.
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