Michael Cheika did not have much faith in Ireland getting past Argentina
Michael Cheika may have expressed the exact same platitude had Ireland been his team's semi-final opponents but you never know with this canny operator.
Argentina raised plenty of Irish eyebrows, last weekend, when they floored Joe Schmidt's men in the World Cup quarter final.
The Pumas have only won three of their Rugby Championship games, since their 2013 introduction to the tournament, and had lost their last five Test encounters with Ireland.
All that stood for zip when Juan Imhoff and his fired up buddies tore into Ireland from the first whistle and defended like hounds until the last. A 43-20 dismantling of the Irish teed up a semi-final with Australia, this Sunday.
Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has coached his team against Ireland and Argentina in the past year. Ireland beat Australia 26-23 last November while Cheika's men defeated Argentina 34-9 back in July.
However, Cheika says he anticipated a Pumas victory over Ireland.
"Am I surprised that they're in the semi-final?" Cheika asked.
"No, not at all. I expected it totally.
"We see them on a regular basis over the years now in the Rugby Championship and so we're not surprised at all at their position now.
"We would have expected it, so we've been preparing accordingly."