Argentina coach Michael Cheika felt his team deserved better on the night as the Pumas fell just short against England after overcoming a rough start to the bronze medal game on Friday.
Argentina made it a proper contest at Stade de France but in the end England won 26-23, having made the best of the Pumas’ lapse of concentration after they scored their second try.
Cheika criticised Australian referee Nic Berry.
“I am disappointed with the way the whole game was run. The way the game was refereed and the consistency,” Cheika said after Argentina’s second defeat of this World Cup against England following their opening loss in the pool phase.
“Our players have worked for two years to try and get something here. I know we are one of the lower nations. We’re not England, New Zealand or South Africa or any of those guys but at the end of the day it’s hard.
“I feel for the lads as they deserved more than what they got out of it today. Sometimes I love the game, sometimes I hate it when I look at the game.”
It was, however, a defensive blip two minutes after Santiago Carreras’s superb try that allowed Theo Dan to put England ahead again and Nicolas Sanchez missed the penalty that could have sent the match into extra time in the 75th minute.
“It was fine margins. Three points. We had a charge down. We hung in there really well, I thought we fought back well,” Cheika said.
“We didn’t get the rub of the green on many things but we still stayed in the game. It’s just the way it’s meant to be isn’t it.”
Asked if it was his last game in charge of the Pumas, Cheika said his future would be decided later this year.
“I’ll go to Argentina later in the year and we’ll have a talk about how things went and what the future holds,” the Australian said.
“But it’s not really what I’m thinking about. I’m totally disappointed for everyone, for our crowd, for our people as I think we deserved to win tonight and for one reason or another we didn’t.”
Captain Julian Montoya believed his team failed to control the game and also criticised the way the game was refereed.
“We made some mistakes, some things we could not control,” he said, after Argentina fell 13-0 behind.
“”We need to be better at controlling things. We scored a try but then we conceded points straight after from their kickoff. We fought for every ball so I am proud of the team.
“We did everything we could, we deserved more both in terms of results and refereeing, but we missed two or three chances. That’s what happens, we lose by three points, it’s not a lot,” he added.
“I can’t understand why we were so much penalised at the scrum, despite dominating.”