Wallabies wary of dominant Pumas forward pack

The Wallabies have their eyes on Argentina's forwards ahead of this weekend's must win clash after the Pumas' pack -- especially their backrow -- dominated in their historic win over the All Blacks on Saturday night.

Playing in their first Test in over 400 days, Argentina's backrow were hugely impressive dominating tackles, controlling the breakdown and slowing down the ball, which ultimately saw the All Blacks struggle to gain any front foot ball or momentum in the match.

Preparing for their clash with the Pumas on Saturday, Wallabies flanker Liam Wright acknowledged how threatening their backrowers could be, as well as their hookers who also scavenged the breakdown for loose ball.

"They attack the breakdown quite well," Wright said on Monday. "As we know with Argentina their hookers are actually quite good over the ball as well, obviously they had [Augustin] Creevy in the past and [Julian] Montoya on the weekend managed a pilfer as well. They've essentially got four backrowers there who are constantly looking for that ball.

"Pablo [Matera] got a lot of pay on the weekend, but their second rowers and stuff like to slow the breakdown as well by dominating the tackles and holding people up.

"For us to get quick breakdown ball we'll have to target their backrow, definitely. Just make sure we're getting good collisions and dominating that contact battle for the carry. Otherwise it's just going to be a long day, they're going to slow up our ball and makes it hard to get any go forward."

A tactic that a lot of teams use with big forward packs is to attempt to hold the ball carrier up and slow down the distribution of the ball. It's a plan that Argentina used to perfection on Saturday night, and it's a trap the Wallabies are wary of avoiding.

"It's just an easier way, even if you don't get the return or turnover, it gives your defensive line a lot more time to set and that way the next phase they can come forward and smash them again. It's a continuous cycle like that.

"We've got to be wary of our body height and making sure we're not going in too high, otherwise they'll have a field day on us."

After four clashes with the All Blacks which saw several changes to the Wallabies own backrow, including dropping Pete Samu after Bledisloe I, moving Henry Wilson from No.6 to No.8, the inclusion and then demotion of Ned Hanigan and the debut of Lachie Swinton in Game IIII. Despite the continual rotation, the message is clear, Dave Rennie wants hard hitters who make an impact at blindside.

"What he's [Dave Rennie] looking for is just a lot of physicality and impact on the game," Wright said. "Which is what we're looking for across the board really.

"We're looking for guys to come in, sort of like what Swints [Lachie Swinton] did in his first 30 minutes, just fly in and rip in. I thought he was really good until that [red] card, he put in a lot of effort and had some really dominant contact.

"The other main thing for that six role is the set piece; Ned's provided that for us in the past, those first few games against the ABs, and Pete and Wilson have as well. I think shoring up our set piece there, especially against the Argentinians, they're good around their scrum and maul, so that's very important for that six jersey as well.

"There's a lot of competition in the backrow, there's some great athletes and a lot of people fighting for spots, especially now that Isi's come in as well. It just makes everyone put their best foot forward at training and just constantly keep fighting, which at the end of the day, whether or not you get the selection it makes the team a whole lot better."

Captaining the first Australia A side that played out a trial match against Argentina in late October, Wright said Rennie and his teammates will be looking back and using those experiences to help them prepare for what's now become a massive clash.

"It was definitely helpful playing against them and then for the second team that played against them a second time, which is when they had a lot of European players in, who tend to be quite a lot of their starters.

"We're definitely looking at the footage and just again trying to get an idea of their plays, because they haven't been able to play a whole lot this year because of the whole pandemic and that, so we're looking for any signs into how they're going to play with the use of those Aus A games."