Rugby Championship News

South Africa beat Argentina in Salta




Argentina’s Pumas have played South Africa’s Springboks 28 times since 1993, the Pumas have won three matches, lost 24 times and drawn once.

The Pumas three wins give them a record of winning 11% of their matches against the Springboks regardless of venue.

  • Argentina will be on the hunt for back-to-back wins against South Africa for the first time after picking up a 32-19 win in their last encounter.
  • A margin of two points has decided two of the previous three games between Argentina and South Africa at Ernesto Maltearena in Salta.
  • South Africa ran out to a 41-23 win in their most recent encounter in Salta.
  • South Africa’s last seven away Tests have all been decided by a single-figure margin; winning three, losing three and drawing once.
  • Los Pumas’ only victory in their last 10 Tests on home soil (L9) came against South Africa (25th August 2018).
  • South Africa has lost one of their last five matches in The Rugby Championship (W3, D1), scoring 30 points or more three times.
  • Argentina has conceded 14 penalties in The Rugby Championship 2019, the fewest of any team.
  • South Africa have scored the most tries (6) of any team in the tournament.
  • Argentina has made the most offloads (26), double the amount of the Boks, who have made the fewest (13).
  • Herschel Jantjies is the only player in The Rugby Championship 2019 to have scored multiple tries (3), carrying seven times.
  • Guido Petti Pagadizaval has won 12 lineouts (including two steals) in The Rugby Championship 2019, the most of any player.

The Rugby Championship Title Decider

Australia upset New Zealand 47-26 at Optus Stadium in Perth earlier today, giving South Africa a chance of winning their first Rugby Championship title in a decade.

The victory means Michael Cheika’s men sit top of the Rugby Championship table with eight points, one ahead of Rassie Erasmus’ charges.

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A win or draw with Argentina in Salta will have the Springboks finishing first in the standings and ending their 10-year trophy drought going back to the 2009 Tri-Nations.

If South Africa lose with a bonus-point they will go level with Australia.

Should this happen, however, the Wallabies will be crowned champions because they will have two wins to the Boks’ one in the tournament.

Since the Boks last won the competition, Australia has won the Rugby Championship twice.

New Zealand has dominated, winning seven titles in an era of unprecedented dominance.

The defending World Champions and Rugby Championship holders have won every Bledisloe Cup since 2003.

The two Wallabies titles both came in a World Cup year, 2011 and 2015, which proved a bad omen as the All Blacks won back-to-back Rugby World Cups.

Both Springboks and Australian supporters will be crossing their fingers, touching wood and holding their collective breaths.

Match detail

We are waiting for the kick-off.

In the meantime, why not have a look at the match preview.

1:00 PEEEEP! The anthems are done, the pre-match show finished, and we are underway for this important Test in sunny Salta.

2.00: TRY! What a dream start for Los Pumas! Argentina wins their first lineout and attacks wide from the set-piece. Jerónimo de la Fuente has a mini linebreak before Nicolás Sánchez’s long cross-kick finds Santiago Cordero in the corner to open the scoring. 5-0

3.00: CONVERSION! Sánchez curls the touchline kick through the sticks. 7-0

5.00: A couple of Springboks attacks end with knock-ons.

7.00: A good scrum by the Boks is not enough to win possession. Los Pumas go wide at every opportunity, throwing speculation passes as they look to exploit the wide channels.

8.00: Some good defending by the visitors wins them a penalty for offsides. Handré Pollard calls for the tee.

9.00: PENALTY! Handré Pollard splits the uprights from about 45 metres out. 7-3

11.00: Argentina is being pressed by South Africa’s rush defence. The hosts lose possession and the Boks counter-attack.

12.00: Makazole Mapimpi carries into the opposition’s 22 before the tourists scramble defending halts the attack. South Africa is awarded a penalty for offsides, however.

13.00: Duane Vermeulen tells Pollard to kick to the corner instead of taking the three.

13.00: TRY! It’s an inspired decision from the Boks skipper because they drive their way over the chalk with an impressive maul. Mbongeni Mbonambi gets up with the ball as the visitors take the lead. 7-8

14.00: MISS! Pollard’s touchline kick is wide. 7-8

16.00: Argentina wins a penalty and will look for three.

17.00: PENALTY! Sánchez makes no mistake. 10-8

18.00: South Africa win a scrum-penalty after the restart and will take a shot at goal.

19.00: PENALTY! Pollard will not miss from in front. 10-11

22.00: The scrums are unstable and need to be reset at least once at every set-piece.

23.00: Cheslin Kolbe kicks the ball away, Argentina gather and clear. South Africa attack through Pollard, but the flyhalf’s pass is forward and into touch. Scrum, Los Pumas.

24.00: BIG SCRUM by the Boks, who win the penalty after the Pumas’ front row pops.

26.00: PENALTY! Pollard makes Argentina pay. 10-14

27.00: A mistake from the restart has the visitors back-peddling. Los Pumas are into the 22 and bashing forward through their big ball-carriers.

28.00: South Africa give away two penalties, one for not releasing, the other for coming into the ruck from the side. Sánchez will take a shot.

29.00: PENALTY! Sánchez makes no mistake from in front. 13-14

30.00: Another ruck infringement, this time by the hosts will give the visitors a chance to extend.

31.00: PENALTY! Pollard hits his fourth penalty. 13-17

33.00: Both sides are playing fast and loose, which is causing problems because they cannot hang onto the ball. A knock-on by a player from each team results in a Pumas’ scrum.

34.00: Vermeulen and De la Fuente are spoken to by referee Romain Poite about the cynical play.

35.00: South Africa wins a third scrum-penalty, but Vermeulen decides to kick for touch. The attack comes to nothing.

36.00: The Boks have an attacking scrum just outside the Pumas’ 22.

38.00: A fourth scrum-penalty, this time for wheeling, goes South Africa’s way. They, again, kick to the corner.

39.00: The lineout call works, in the end. The Boks tried a move around the fringe of the maul, which did not come off. The ball is sent wide where the Boks bash away at the Argentina line.

40.00: TRY! Eben Etzebeth and Mbonambi both go close before Pollard crashes over next to the posts, following a sustained attack. 13-22

41.00: CONVERSION! Pollard converts his score and the Boks have a handy lead at the break. 13-24

The halftime score was Argentina 13 South Africa 24

41.00: PEEEEP! We are back underway in South America.

42.00: PENALTY! Not a good start to the second-half by the hosts, giving away a silly penalty in front of the posts. 13-27

43.00: Faf de Klerk goes offsides at the ruck and is pinged.

44.00: Another penalty in quick succession allows the Pumas to kick to the corner.

45.00: Etzebeth collapses the maul, and the Pumas opt for another driving maul.

47.00: Another knock-on kills a try-scoring chance for the hosts, but South Africa was offsides at the ruck. The ref is talking to the Boks skipper, who in turn, speaks to his forwards. Sánchez kicks to the corner.

48.00: YELLOW CARD! De Klerk is sent to the naughty step for being offsides, again.

50.00: Somehow, South Africa withstands the sustained attack, eventually winning a penalty, which allows them to clear their lines.

54.00: TRY! Pollard has a double, crashing over from close range after a sustained attack inside the opposition’s 22. 13-32

55.00: MISS! Oh dear, the 25-year-old misses from in front. 13-32

58.00: Argentina is enjoying a good spell, but they cannot find that final pass.

60.00: Los Pumas have an attacking lineout inside SA’s 22.

62.00: A knock-on gives the Boks a reprieve.

63.00: Another scrum-penalty, the fifth, allows the visitors to clear.

64.00: TRY! Mapimpi strolls over in the corner to put the game to bed. 13-37

65.00: CONVERSION! Pollard slots the touchline conversion. 13-39

67.00: TRY! Cheslin Kolbe is over for a five-pointer. This is a rout. 13-44

68.00: CONVERSION! Another two for Pollard. 13-46

71.00: South Africa looking for more, here.

74.00: Jerónimo de la Fuente thinks he has scored, but there was a knock-on before he dived over. No try! 13-46

77.00: Time is winding down in Salta, Argentina look shot.

79.00: Almost time for the celebrations.

80.00: The hooter goes, Willie Le Roux, who had a quiet day, chips a kick but cannot gather as the game comes to an end.


South Africa are Rugby Championship 2019 WINNERS! 

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The final score is Argentina 13 (13) South Africa 46 (24)


Tries – Cordero
Pen – Sánchez (2)
Con – Sánchez
Drop –
Cards –

South Africa
Tries – Mbonambi, Pollard (2), Mapimpi, Kolbe
Pen – Pollard (5)
Con – Pollard (3)
Drop –
Cards – De Klerk (Yellow, 48′)

Match Officials
Referee: Romain Poite (FFR)
Assistant Ref 1: Matthew Carley (RFU)
Assistant Ref 2: Karl Dickson (RFU)
TMO: Rowan Kitt (RFU)



15 Emiliano Boffelli, 14 Santiago Cordero, 13 Matías Moroni, 12 Jerónimo de la Fuente (captain), 11 Ramiro Moyano, 10 Nicolás Sánchez, 9 Tomás Cubelli, 8 Facundo Isa, 7 Javier Ortega Desio, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Marcos Kremer, 4 Matías Alemanno, 3 Juan Figallo, 2 Agustín Creevy, 1 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro.

Replacements: 16 Julian Montoya, 17 Mayco Vivas, 18 Santiago Medrano, 19 Guido Petti, 20 Tomás Lezana, 21 Gonzalo Bertranou, 22 Benjamin Urdapilleta, 23 Joaquín Tuculet.

South Africa

15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Francois de Klerk, 8 Duane Vermeulen (captain),7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Kwagga Smith, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Mbongeni Mbonambi, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.

Replacements: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Rudolph Snyman, 20 Francois Louw, 21 Herschel Jantjies, 22 Frans Steyn, 23 Jesse Kriel.

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