Argentina rugby coach Daniel Hourcade says the Pumas have to become more consistent if they want to regularly challenge teams like Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
The Pumas came back from a poor first 60 minutes in their Rugby Championship match against the Wallabies on Queensland`s Gold Coast to almost steal an unlikely draw Saturday.
However, with a dominant Argentine forward pack camped on the Australian goal line, referee Glen Jackson ruled a scrum infringement against them right on full-time to give the Wallabies a 32-25 win.
The loss follows two close defeats to South Africa and comes a week after the Pumas impressed many with their effort against the world champion All Blacks in Napier.
Hourcade was left shaking his head at the Pumas` opening 60 minutes, during which time the Wallabies dominated both possession and territory.
"The last 20 minutes was the only period I was happy with," he said later.
"I was not happy with the rest of the game -- it was the worst we`ve played the whole tournament."
Hourcade said he was trying to build the Pumas into a more consistent outfit which could perform at the top level every week.
"We are building a team and our main concern is the style of game we play," he said.
"The results will come if we play our rugby in a good way. Tonight, we didn`t do it."
Hourcade conceded that Australia were the better team despite the closeness of the scoreline.
"Australia was better than us -- we made 91 tackles and they made 12, they had 80 per cent of possession and they played 74 per cent in our territory.
"If we want to beat a team like Australia we have to change those numbers," he said.Pumas captain Agustin Creevy said Argentina had struggled to dominate the Wallaby scrum until the last 20 minutes, which had impacted on the rest of the match.
"Their scrum was really tough in the first half," he said.
"Only in the last 20 minutes did our scrum become dominant."
The veteran hooker admitted after the match he didn`t know what the last scrum penalty against the Pumas was for.
"In the last scrum we had (control), but the referee penalised us," Creevy said.
"Our number nine said it was for one thing and the number seven said it was for another, but I don`t know. I will have to talk to the referee."
Creevy echoed Hourcade`s disappointment with the Pumas` performance.
"I was happy with the last 20 minutes but not happy with the game as a whole," he said.
"Most of the time we were having to defend and that made us a little tired at the end of the game."
Argentina now have a week off before hosting New Zealand and Australia in their final two matches of the Rugby Championship.
They may be without influential number eight Juan Manuel Leguizamon, who has a problem with his right calf, and centre Juan Martin Hernandez, who hurt his knee during the match.
"We have injuries to some important players, but that`s part of the game," Hourcade said.
"Hopefully they can come back as soon as possible."