Argentina has returned home against South Africa in the Rugby Championship after losing 34-21 in Durban last weekend, playing at Estadio Malvinas Argentinas, Mendoza.
Earlier, New Zealand romped home to victory over Australia, beating the Wallabies 40-12 at Eden Park in Auckland.
- The Springboks have won all but three of their previous 27 games against the Pumas (D1, L2), including their last three on the bounce and a come-from-behind win in Round 1 of this tournament.
- Four of the last six games between the Pumas and Springboks in Argentina have been decided by a margin of five points or fewer.
- South Africa’s 41-23 win in their last game in Salta was their biggest win against the Pumas in Argentina since 2004 (39-7).
- The South Americans led at half-time in each of their two previous games against the Boks at Estadio Mundialista Malvinas, though they’ve gone on to earn just a draw from those games (L1).
- The Pumas have lost their last six games on the bounce in Argentina, conceding fewer than 30 points on only one occasion in that span.
- South Africa have won only three of their last 13 games as the away team on the day (D1, L9), despite leading at half-time on five occasions in that time.
- The Springboks have trailed at half-time in each of their last five games in The Rugby Championship; however, they have managed to scrounge up a win and two draws (L2) in that span.
- Los Pumas have finished six of their last seven home games in The Rugby Championship with a 100% goal-kicking accuracy, missing just three of 30 attempts in that time.
- South Africa have scored just 10 tries in their last five games away from home, failing to cross the whitewash twice in that time.
- Nicolas Sánchez (624) is now just 28 points shy of eclipsing Felipe Contepomi (651) as the most prolific Argentinian point-scorer in Test history.
- Aphiwe Dyantyi bagged a brace of tries in the opening round of The Rugby Championship 2018, and has now scored three tries in his four Test appearances; his seven tries in Super Rugby 2018 were the equal second-most of any Lions player.
We are waiting for the kick-off.
1.00: PEEEEP! We are underway at a sunny Estadio Malvinas.
4.00: Marcos Kremer wins the penalty at the breakdown, but South Africa has started the opening exchanges, well.
5.00: PENALTY! Nicolás Sánchez gives his side the lead. 3-0
6.00: A pre-engagement from the Springboks gives Argentina a free-kick and a chance to clear from their 22.
8.00: Some confusion between Faf de Klerk and Willie le Roux sees Franco Mostert caught offsides after Le Roux’s knock on. Sánchez kicks to the Boks 22.
10.00: Los Pumas getting into the game, their handling and wide attacks forcing the Springboks into to commit to the tight phases, leaving the wide channels free to exploit.
12.00: MISS! Oh dear! Handré Pollard shanks his penalty attempt wide from in front. 3-0
14.00: TRY! Siya Kolisi slips Sánchez’s weak tackle and crashes over for his fifth Test try and fourth against Los Pumas. 3-5
15.00: CONVERSION! Pollard makes no mistake, this time. 3-7
18.00: Malcolm Marx with a stray pass to Aphiwe Dyantyi gives the hosts a lineout.
19.00: TRY! Bautista Delguy finishes off a wonderful move and beats Dyantyi to the try line to put his side back in the lead. It was a superb linebreak from Emiliano Boffelli to set up the winger. 8-7
20.00: CONVERSION! Sánchez adds the extras. 10-7
21.00: Guido Petti loses the ball on his own throw, but the Boks kick the ball away, aimlessly.
23.00: TRY! It’s Delguy again for the double. It came from a big right shoulder and an attack down the right-hand touchline. Javier Ortega Desio broke blind to set up the score after a powerful scrum. 15-7
24.00: CONVERSION! The kick is good from Sánchez. 17-7
25.00: YELLOW CARD! Eben Etzebeth is sent to the sin-bin for a professional foul on his try line.
27.00: TRY! Sánchez is over for his ninth-try against South Africa with a swallow dive. 22-7
28.00: CONVERSION! His kick is good. 24-7
30.00: The visitors are awarded a penalty near the Pumas’ 10-metre line. Pollard kicks to the corner. Down to 14 men, they should probably take a shot at goal, but Pollard’s kicking has been dodgy of late.
31.00: André Esterhuizen loses De Klerk’s pass, forward. Scrum to the home team and a missed opportunity to reduce the score to two goals.
32.00: Massive scrum from Argentina. They bulldozed the Bok pack and get the penalty. Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro and Juan Figallo are having their way with the Boks’ front row.
35.00: Lukhanyo Am is isolated in the tackle; penalty to the South Americans.
36.00: DROP-GOAL! Argentina is controlling this game, using their forwards to rumble forward before the majestic Sánchez slots a drop-kick to extend his side’s lead. 27-7
39.00: Tendai Mtawarira is held up over the try line, but Matías Moroni and Bautista Ezcurra are both caught offsides, giving South Africa a penalty under the posts and five metres out. Kolisi opts for a scrum.
41.00: Argentina wins the scrum-penalty. Sánchez clears, and it is halftime.
The halftime score was Argentina 27 South Africa 7
41.00: PEEEEP! We are back underway in Argentina where the Pumas are dominating the Springboks.
42.00: Esterhuizen breaks the line and has South Africa on the front foot inside the host’s 22. Argentina recovers to win another breakdown penalty after Marx is pinged.
45.00: The Pumas have started the second half as they finished the first, with some slick handling and big ball-carrying. South Africa is on the ropes.
46.00: TRY! Ramiro Moyano races away down the touchline for his side’s fourth – and game-clinching try. 32-7
47.00: MISS! Sánchez pulls his kick wide. 32-7
48.00: TRY! Lionel Mapoe is over in the corner. 32-12
49.00: CONVERSION! Pollard adds the futile CONVERSION. 32-14
52.00: Pollard takes out Sánchez in the air; it’s dangerous, but the Boks 10 stays on the field with a warning.
56.00: Steven Kitshoff is pinged for crawling on his knees, but Pablo Matera is penalised for going off his feet at the previous ruck. South Africa opt for the scrum; it’s all they can do.
59.00: TRY? Wait, no. The Boks go wide, shifting the ball through the hands with speed and precision for Dyantyi to score, however, the ref calls play back for a forward pass.
63.00: Big scrum from the Boks results in a penalty. Pollard puts the ball out at the 5m.
65.00: TRY! After a couple of pick and drives, Le Roux gets some space and plays the Lions centre into the corner. 32-19
66.00: MISS! The kick is wide. 32-19
69.00: Time is running out for the visitors; Argentina is on the verge of history.
73.00: Argentina is on the verge of history in Mendoza.
77.00: Argentina win a late penalty, and they can finish off the game with some points from the excellent Boffelli from long range.
78.00: MISS! His kick is wide. 32-19
80.00: Some confusion as Sánchez is sent from the field in the dying embers of the match, only to return for Bautista Ezcurra. He kicks to the corner.
The final score is Argentina 32 (27) South Africa 19 (7)
Tries – Delguy (2), Sánchez, Moyano
Pen – Sánchez
Con – Sánchez (3)
Drop – Sánchez
Tries – Kolisi, Mapoe (2)
Con – Pollard (2)
Cards – Etzebeth (Yellow, 25′)
Referee: Angus Gardner (ARU)
Assistant Ref 1: Ben O’Keeffe (NZRU)
Assistant Ref 2: Andrew Brace (IRFU)
TMO: Simon McDowell (IRFU)
15 Emiliano Boffelli, 14 Bautista Delguy, 13 Matías Moroni, 12 Bautista Ezcurra, 11 Ramiro Moyano, 10 Nicolás Sánchez, 9 Gonzalo Bertranou, 8 Javier Ortega Desio, 7 Marcos Kremer, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Tomás Lavanini, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Juan Figallo, 2 Agustín Creevy (captain), 1 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro.
Replacements: 16 Facundo Bosch, 17 Santiago García Botta, 18 Santiago Medrano, 19 Matias Alemanno, 20 Tomás Lezana, 21 Tomás Cubelli, 22 Jerónimo de la Fuente, 23 Juan Cruz Mallia.
15 Willie le Roux, 14 Makazole Mapimpi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 André Esterhuizen, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Francois de Klerk, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Siya Kolisi (captain), 6 Francois Louw, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Mbongeni Mbonambi, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 Rudolph Snyman, 20 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Lionel Mapoe, 23 Damian Willemse.