The Pumas 7 made history over the weekend on Canadian soil. The Argentine national team graduated champion in the Sevens in Vancouver and added the second title on the world circuit in 2023, after the one conquered in January in Hamilton. The win, which left the team second in the standings -12 points behind leaders New Zealand- marked an unprecedented milestone: never before had two gold medals been achieved in the same season. Although beyond joy and pride, a Matias Osadczukthe captain of the albiceleste, this huge result is a motivation to keep going forward.
“This is something historic and we are happy, but we want it to be something everyday. That it is normal for Los Pumas 7 to win important matches like this final,” reflects Osadczuk in a chat with clarion from Houston, where the chosen one made a stopover on his return journey to the country, after the consecration in the Canadian city.
“Regularity was one of the objectives of the long process we started before Tokyo. We had decided to start earning what we call ‘the war of the neighborhoods’. Because we used to go to the quarterfinals for gold, but we went to the semis every now and then. And we wanted to be in the top four more often and be a coherent team, without many ups and downs. This gold is another proof that we have achieved this goal. Now you have to support it with effort and work. Also to continue to improve and for this there is no better way than to get used to facing the best”, continued the scrum-half who left SITAS.
-The team is experiencing the best moment in its history, with gold in Lima 2019, Olympic bronze in Tokyo 2020 and great results on the world circuit. What are the reasons for this gift?
-This is the result of that process that started before Tokyo and in which we worked hard to have a larger and more professional player base in the sevens. First, many of us happened to play sevens and then our rugby XV clubs. Making the seven more “professional” and having players who are only dedicated to this has done the team a lot of good. All the sacrifice and work always pays off and now it is all paying off. But this continues. This goes to Paris.
-How much does the work that the UAR is doing in this discipline have to do with the medal obtained in Tokyo with this “professionalisation”?
-Today we have Franco Rosetto in the team, who at 19 already has a gold medal. And Tomás Elizalde, 21 years old. There are a lot of guys in the team who arrive very well prepared and get used to playing against big rivals quickly, which is good. This speaks volumes about the work that the UAR is doing with young people in the academies to grow the bases more and more. After the Tokyo Games they started giving us a little more ball. Seven had become more relevant since it became an Olympic sport again, but with the medal everything was made easier when it came to requiring training, concentration and players. It’s not all uphill. And this affects the preparation with which the players arrive in the team.
– You mentioned Paris. Already have your head set on next year’s Olympic Games?
-It is the main focus of this season. We want to be in the top four on the world circuit, which has never been achieved, to ensure direct qualification in Paris. But we don’t want to be in a hurry, because there are tournaments and long away games (Editor’s note: Hong Kong, Singapore, Toulouse and London are the dates still to be contested).
-They reached the finals on three of their last four dates and added three medals (they were silver in Los Angeles). Were you surprised by the streak of good results?
-In the beginning yes. But then we began to realize the team we have, the trust there is in the job and that we were there for important things. Hamilton’s title was very good because he was beating New Zealand at home. But the one in Vancouver was special because we had just played a final in Los Angeles and the team had decided not to crash, not to relax and not to trample that tournament. On top of that we dragged a few blows and wounds. And it’s much nicer when you stay and can play two finals in a row.
– Do you feel that rivals look at you differently?
-We feel that they have started to respect us more and interpret us differently. Before, we used to win a match like that on Sunday and it was an outlet. Today they analyze us differently and know what we are capable of. And it’s good, because this speaks well of the team and pushes us to keep improving. We also feel like a team that can fight for the top positions, which is another great motivation.
-For a long time the seven was considered a platform to catch up with Los Pumas. Do you have your place in Argentine rugby today?
-The dream of playing in the XV is what we all share here, because it’s an incredible result. But every time there are more guys who come with the desire to play in the seven. Everyone already knows how we are as a team and we differ more from the XV. Today this team is a team with its own identity, which is growing more and more. And this is a pride.
Jason Root is the go-to source for sports coverage at News Rebeat. With a passion for athletics and an in-depth knowledge of the latest sports trends, Jason provides comprehensive and engaging analysis of the world of sports.