Australia are expecting the unexpected from Argentina when the nations meet for the first time in the Rugby Championship at Skilled Park on the Gold Coast this weekend.
Argentina drew with South Africa and put in a spirited display in defeat to world champions New Zealand in their last two matches so the Wallabies are anticipating anything but an easy evening in Queensland on Saturday.
Having not played the Pumas since the 2003 World Cup, only 34-year-old lock Nathan Sharpe, who will skipper the side in Australia's first test in his home town, has experience of facing Argentine at international level.
"The main memory I do have is the unorthodox method in which they play," Sharpe, who will play his 109th test for his country, told a news conference on the Gold Coast on Friday.
"The guys are aware it's going to be a very physical encounter but with the unorthodox side of things you just have to worry about what you're doing.
"If we can look after that, and to a certain extent dismiss what different tactics they're employing, it helps us be precise in what we're doing and... will go a long way to deciding the result of the match."
Certainly the Wallabies have seen enough to expect a bruising battle up front and hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau said this week that the Pumas forward play was now at least on a par, "if anything better", than that of New Zealand and South Africa.
"They're a very passionate team and it's something that's been identified in the first three games of the Rugby Championship and one that you look at in every World Cup, they're always competitive because of that spirit they bring to the game," Sharpe added.
"You talk about their defence and all the rest of it, it's not always the most structured but it's frenetic. They work together and they usually get a result."
Berrick Barnes, who has been moved from inside centre for his first start at fullback, said the Argentine backs were also unpredictable.
"They will look to use the pill (ball), they've got a lot of flair there too," he said.
"We've got to be prepared for anything, if you go in there with a kicking mindset and they start throwing it around, you got to be prepared for that sort of stuff."
Barnes probably got the nod over Kurtley Beale because of his accurate place kicking with coach Robbie Deans, aware that scoring opportunities might be scarce, determined to make the most of those his team are offered.
The Wallabies will be without scrumhalf Will Genia, who will miss the rest of the season after injuring his knee in the victory over the Springboks last week that turned Australia's campaign around after successive defeats to the All Blacks.
Sharpe said it would not just be down to Nick Phipps, who will make his second test start at halfback on Saturday, to make up for Genia's absence.
"I think it's great, it's good for the team because people have to step up," he said.
"It's not just about Phippsy coming in and replacing Will, it's about everyone else fulfilling an extra one or two per cent of a role that they may not naturally do when Will's there, and the result could be surprising."
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