Friday, November 29, 2013

Retro Friday - Hugo Porta´s Pre-Match Motivation in 1985

Hugo Porta: Still regarded as the Greatest ever Puma
IRB Hall of famer Hugo Porta was in many ways the players most directly responsible for the arrival of Argentina on the international stage. Before Porta Argentina played fewer test matches and did so against fewer opponents but between the time of his debut and the first Rugby World Cup Porta had kicked teams to victory over Australia, France and South Africa and to draws against England and New Zealand.

Porta´s abilities were rare as he was highly talented as a player and was a remarkable leader who had the total respect of his players. The famous preand post match speeches given by Agustín Pichot as Pumas captain were replications of those given by Porta. They were the gel which held together their teams and there was no conflict of interests unlike that which became public in 2013 surrounding certain Pumas players during the Rugby Championship.

The following video showcases the motivational efforts of Porta as Argentina prepares to take-on the All Blacks in Buenos Aires in 1985. Porta told his fellow Pumas that "with this shirt you play with your heart". While the amateur days are long gone the meaning behind such a saying has not changed as the challenge awaiting players requires utter commitment. The Pumas sides of 2012 and 2013 was notorious for inconsistency with a common theme being that Argentina was unable to play to a similar level in consecutive matches. As such there have been arguments made that a lack of focus and humility has cost Argentina chances.

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