Argentina flanker Pablo Matera set to miss Rugby World Cup quarter-final against Wales with Pumas coach Michael Cheika admitting hamstring injury picked up in Japan win ‘doesn’t look good’
- Argentina’s Pablo Matera is a major doubt for quarter-final clash with Wales
- Flanker was forced off in win against Japan that secured World Cup progress
- Wales are set to be without Taulupe Faletau after No 8 broke his arm vs Georgia
- Latest Rugby World Cup 2023 news, including fixtures, live scores and results
Argentina booked a World Cup quarter-final with Wales after a thrilling win over Japan but lost key figure Pablo Matera to a hamstring injury which is set to rule him out of his team’s knock-out clash.
A day after Wales head coach Warren Gatland’s No 8 Taulupe Faletau suffered a tournament-ending broken arm in Nantes, Michael Cheika’s Pumas also saw one of their stars fall lame at the same venue.
Matera limped off in the first half at Stade de la Beaujoire and Argentina head coach Cheika admitted he doesn’t expect the tough-as-teak back-row to make a quick recovery.
‘It doesn’t look good. By the look of him now, I’d say his tournament will be over,’ Cheika said.
Argentina were made to work seriously hard to reach the knock-outs in an eight-try thriller with Japan. It was one of the best games of the World Cup to date as both teams went for broke.
Argentina flanker Pablo Matera is unlikely to feature in the Pumas quarter-final against Wales after suffering a hamstring injury
After the win against Japan, Pumas coach Michael Cheika admitted that the injury ‘doesn’t look good’
Argentina were made to work hard for their 39-27 win that earned them progress alongside England from Pool D
In the end, a hat-trick from Newcastle wing Mateo Carreras helped Argentina come out on top.
Santiago Chocobares and Emiliano Boffelli also crossed with Edinburgh’s Boffelli kicking three conversions and a penalty. Each time Argentina took control, Japan came fighting back.
The Brave Blossoms were playing their last game under the guidance of departing head coach Jamie Joseph.
Their display was reminiscent of the entertaining performances they produced in 2015 and 2019.
But, unlike four years ago, Japan couldn’t qualify for the knock-outs despite tries from Amato Fakatava, Naoto Saito and Jone Naikabula.
Argentina only have a six-day turnaround before facing Wales in Marseille on Saturday.
Newcastle wing Mateo Carreras scored a hat-trick of tries against Japan to seal Argentina’s place in the knockout stages
Wales No 8 Taulupe Faletau will miss the quarter-final encounter in Marseille after breaking his arm in the win against Georgia
Like Wales losing Faletau, Matera’s injury is a monumental blow to Argentina.
‘Warren has a very particular style which he’s obviously been able to infuse into his team and they’re playing it very well,’ Cheika said, looking ahead to Wales.
‘It’s one thing knowing about it, but it’s another thing doing something. We’ll well and truly be underdogs. I’ve heard a lot of commentary that Wales will be in the semi-finals for sure.
‘We know there’s a lot of Argentinians here who are supporting us to go further so we want to make sure we do everything we can for them.’
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