- Associated Press - Sunday, October 11, 2015

LEICESTER, England (AP) - Argentina concluded Pool C with a nine-try, 64-19 win over Namibia on Sunday in a contest that served more or less as an opposed training run for the Pumas ahead of the Rugby World Cup quarterfinals.

The Pumas were already assured of second spot in the pool, behind defending champion New Zealand, and a quarterfinal against the winner of the later Pool D match between Ireland and France.

Argentina coach Daniel Hourcade said the nine tries was a positive, “even though we didn’t play a fantastic game,” and he was confident they would be in the right frame of mind to take on anyone in the quarters.

“We did good things today, we had a good performance. When we needed something different we were able to create it,” Hourcade said. “We are able to play an open game or a closed game, but it will always be a dynamic one.

“We have the weapons we need to go past our rivals (next week), which is something we will do.”

The Namibians played with serious commitment but had to defend for long periods, missed too many one-on-one tackles, and were outclassed by the fitter and more experienced Pumas.

The first try arrived after only seven minutes, starting from deep in Argentine territory and finished by flyhalf Juan Martin Hernandez.

While Namibia outside center JC Greyling was in the sin-bin for a high tackle on Hernandez, who appeared to slip as he went into contact, the Namibians scored their first try, with winger Johan Tromp swooping on some sloppy handling, kicking ahead, and regathering beside the posts.

From there, the attack was almost all from Argentina, with tries to wingers Matias Moroni and Haracio Agulla, and forwards Facunda Isa and Lucas Noguera, giving the Pumas a 36-7 lead at the break.

The Argentines were running at will late in the match, spreading the ball wide from deep inside their own half rather than kicking, and finding plenty of gaps in the tiring Namibia defense to cross for four more tries - and had another long-range try disallowed by the video official.

Namibia wasn’t helped by having a player in the sin-bin in each half.

Greyling rebounded from his stint on the sideline by crossing for a 30-meter solo try six minutes after the break, and Eugene Jantjes finished off an injury-time consolation in the left corner in the second-half highlights for Namibia.

Veteran prop Johnny Redelinghuys went on as a replacement in the second half, earning his 50th test cap, and was given the honors to take the last conversion. Not surprisingly, he missed from out wide.

Namibia is still yet to win a match at its fifth Rugby World Cup, but earned its first competition point at the tournament earlier in the week in a one-point loss to Georgia.

“We’ve been on a journey … and I’m very proud of the effort that everyone has put in,” Namibia coach Phil Davies said. “It’s been a progressive World Cup for us. We have hit milestones: Our scores (conceded) against Tier One nations have gone down, and also against Tier Two, and we have achieved our first World Cup point.

“There’s been lots of progress made by the team, and the players take huge credit for that.”

Argentina, which reached the semifinals in 2007, will have some concerns over the availability for the quarterfinals of Marcelo Bosch, who was yellow-carded in the 53rd minute for a tip tackle on Namibia flyhalf Theuns Kotze.


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