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VIDEO – England can beat All Blacks says Leguizamon

11 November 2013

  • Leguizamon says England are as good as SANZAR nations
  • Argentina captain magnanimous about loss to England

Juan Manuel Leguizamon believes England can defeat New Zealand at Twickenham this weekend if they display the power and intensity which proved too much for Argentina in the first half on Saturday.

Stuart Lancaster's side overwhelmed the Pumas in the opening 40 minutes, plundering 24 points through tries from Joe Launchbury, Billy Twelvetrees and Chris Ashton after the pack dominated the breakdown and drove line-outs at will.

Argentina captain Leguizamon recently played against the All Blacks in The Rugby Championship – scoring a breakaway try in the 23-13 defeat in Hamilton – and feels England have nothing to fear.

"England definitely have a chance against New Zealand next weekend," said the Stade Francais No.8. "They are playing very well, have good confidence and they have good momentum, so they have a chance.

Juan Manuel Leguizamon

Photo: Getty Images

"I think England are one of the best teams in the world. They are just next to the three southern hemisphere teams. It's not very different playing against them, maybe a different style of rugby, but they are as strong as Australia, New Zealand and South Africa."

Daniel Hourcade's side were left to rue a first half in which they had no answer to the aggression and accuracy of England's forwards. Magnanimous in tone and frank in his assessment of the game, Leguizamon said that at times England were unstoppable.

However, pleased with the restoration of pride achieved by his side after the break – a pair of Nicloas Sanchez penalties were the only scores in the second half until Ben Morgan's 78th-minute try – the 53-cap man said Argentina take confidence into this weekend's clash with Wales in Cardiff.

He added: "We knew about [England's driving line-out] and we saw it in the video sessions during the week. But England were hard to stop and we saw that with the tries.

"We did not have a good first half, we gave England almost every ball, we put ourselves under pressure and that didn't help. Obviously, England played very well in the first half but then we had a good second half. We had the chance to handle more ball, attack them, and be stronger in defence. But at this level it's very difficult if you give away 20 or 30 minutes of rugby.

"We need to take the second half as the marker to improve and have a great week to play well against Wales."