Gonzalo Queseda's downcast Jaguares players were quickly reminded of the impact they'd made in soccer-mad Argentina soon after losing the Super Rugby final.
A resolute performance wasn't enough to stop competition kingpins the Crusaders winning 19-3 in Christchurch.
The scoreline didn't do justice to Queseda's men, who had more ball and created more chances than the All Blacks-laden hosts but lacked the finishing touches.
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Queseda could understand the tears in the sheds but wanted his team to realise what they'd achieved in just their fourth season of existence.
"For us it's amazing. This year we put a big commitment to try to represent something," he said.
"A lot of kids have started playing this season. Our country's proud, our clubs were educated. They're proud of the boys and I think that's important for rugby in our country."
The Jaguares handled their hellish travel schedule better than previously and showcased some of the competition's best players.
Consistently outstanding flanker Pablo Matera was named player of the final and is among a host of the team's hardened Pumas players who look set to have an impact on the Rugby Championship and World Cup.
Queseda believes the Jaguares will be better for their final defeat but for now, is content to soak up the flow of tributes coming their way from opponents and commentators.
"We played some of the best teams in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.
"Seeing the way you guys are looking at us is quite a moment. We have a lot of humility but are super-proud," he said.