Speakers roar in the background calling for new approaches. But the voice of Santiago Gómez Cora overcomes the obstacle and reaches the other end of the telephone line. He is the coach who managed to position the Pumas 7s as one of the protagonists of the seven World Tours. If the context is adverse, we must not resist but adapt. He led Argentina to a new title at the Vancouver Sevens. Fifth in team history, the third to win a bronze medal in Tokyo.
Team Argentina became two-time champions of the Canadian Seven after beating France 33-21 at midnight on Sunday in an electrifying final. During the three-day competition, the Pumas 7s showed commendable fortitude in the decisive moments. Compared to the quality of the runner-up in Los Angeles, the bissext was achieved last time and, especially, from the previous double window, where they reached the sky with their hands in New Zealand, they could not pass the stage in Sydney.
“We always try to be better every day, better than yesterday. We use the premise of giving and being honest, giving for the team, for one goal and for this shirt; , says Gómez Cora from the Vancouver airport, shortly after returning to Buenos Aires, via Houston. Flights, transfers and time zone changes are part of this team’s routine. The World Tour includes 11 stages across five continents over seven months.
After several years in which Argentina was the leader of the Circuit, but the victories against the powers were sporadic and the success was illusory (there were titles between 2009 and 2022), the team will strengthen its power in the last two years. with the bronze medal achieved in Tokyo as a boost and emergence of a group of players who had come more experienced, supported by a broad base of young people who execute the system of the game to perfection. Among them are Marcus Moneta, Rodericus Isgró and Luciano González; in eternal seconds Gastón Revol, captain Matías Osadczuk, Santiago Álvarez and Germán Schulz. And among the new ones, Agustin Fraga and Tobias Wade, to name two who stood in this matter.
There are many pillars of this team. On the other hand, the age of the players mixes a lot of experience, players who combine experience and youth, and finally the freshness of the smallest, three that give them freshness, control and keys in the most important moments”, adds Gómez Cora. himself, the star on the stage. “On the rugby side, mental focus, visualization. A lot of the exercises we do are always focused on what we’re doing. You have a person, you have a group through connection and you form a team through work. When you have a common goal you can achieve the Dream”.
At BC Place in Vancouver, the Pumas won one game comfortably, their debut against Japan (31-12). Then they beat France by one goal (21-12), South Africa by two (12-0), Fiji by one (19-14 in the quarter-time), and Ireland by one (14-7 in the semi-finals). In the final, they were tied 21-21 with two minutes left. Mendoza Isgró, decided the best player in the last, recovered the ball in his own half, Wade shot a shot that crossed the whole field and won the course of Moneta at full speed and Wade put it with a lot of clarity to start the Pumas. farm The story then ended with Fraga capitalizing on another kick from Wade.
“With the mindset of going game by game,” explains Gómez Cora, strategist, in his tenth year at the helm of the team. “The team has nothing left, it needs a lot to grow. To build ourselves in each game from the defense, proposing different defenses according to the rival who faces us and different attacks. The key is to stay connected, to focus on the individual, to connect with the partner and when it comes to the team”.
Thus, the Pumas add two titles and a runner-up in the last three competitions. They have not reached three finals in the same season since 2003/04, when they finished third overall in the table (best ever position), and won it twice in the same campaign for the first time. The success left them alone in second place, with four stages to play, one stage away from qualifying for the Paris 2024 top four games (not counting France, which came third).
“The next proposal is to reach Argentina and recover. It is very exhausted for the two finals two weeks. Later in Hong Kong we will try to be as healthy as possible”, Gómez Cora in relation to the next step, from 31 March to 2 April. “We propose training. We hope to continue in this same way, if not less, we will adapt as much as possible with peace of mind what is planned and the work paid off. To work day in and day out. Without the fruit, everything would not be behind this team.”
He spent a few days studying and studying before boarding a new plane. Forty hours to Hong Kong, the mecca of Seven Seven. There will be no consequences for the pain itself.
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