Argentina returns from New Zealand to face the Springboks with a glimmer of a shot at a first Rugby Championship title.
Los Pumas sit five points behind the All Blacks but have a game in hand before next week’s final round of fixtures in Auckland and Durban.
South Africa can, however, also win the tournament but only if Australia beats New Zealand in Auckland or the All Blacks win, but without a bonus point, and the Boks win both Tests versus Argentina with bonus points.
- South Africa has won 28 of their 32 Tests against Argentina, including their last four on the bounce.
- Among teams, the Boks have faced at least 10 times, only against Italy (93%) do the Springboks have a better win percentage than they do against the Pumas (88%).
- Argentina has won two of their last four Tests on home turf against South Africa after not winning any of their previous 11 (D1 L10); however, this will be the first time in over three years that the Pumas and Springboks have met in Argentina.
- Argentina has won three of their last five Tests played on home soil and will be looking to log consecutive wins at home for the first time since June 2012 after a 48-17 win over Australia in their last home fixture.
- South Africa has won just three of their last eight games in The Rugby Championship after winning six of their last eight games in the tournament (D1 L1).
Rugby Championship stats:
- South Africa has restricted their opponents to fewer than 20 points on 12 occasions in Tests since the beginning of 2021, more than any other team during that period and twice as many times as Argentina (6).
- Argentina have won 25 turnovers, the most of any team in the competition, with 21 of those coming via jackals
- South Africa (17) is the only other team to have made even 10 jackals this tournament.
- The Boks have made 24 line-breaks, the most of any team in the competition and seven more than Argentina (17).
- Lukhanyo Am and Makazole Mapimpi (6 each) have made more line-breaks than all other players.
- Malcolm Marx (6) and Siya Kolisi (5), and Matías Moroni (5), have won more turnovers than any other players in The Rugby Championship.
- Matías Moroni has made five dominant tackles, more than any other player in the competition.
- Willie le Roux has provided three assists in this tournament; he has provided six assists and scored once across his last six Tests against Argentina.
- Agustín Creevy will surpass Nicolás Sánchez (94) as Argentina’s most-capped player when he enters the game.
Ahead of this match, the bookmakers give Argentina an 8-point start this match, so they expect the Springboks to win by 9 or more points.
We are waiting for the kick-off.
In the meantime, have a look at the match preview.
PEEEP! We are underway in Buenos Aires.
2.00: Springboks win a free kick at the first scrum of the game.
5.00: Frans Malherbe is pinged at the scrum. Pumas boot to the Boks’ 22.
7.00: Argentina wins a penalty on the halfway line. Emiliano Boffelli calls for the tee.
9.00: PENALTY! Boffelli opens the scoring.
11.00: Springboks win a penalty in front of the posts after an 11-phase attack. Willemse will take a shot.
12.00: PENALTY! The kick is good. 3-3
14.00: South Africa wins a penalty on the halfway line, they opt for a kick at goal.
15.00: MISS! Willemse’s kick is no good. 3-3
19.00: MISS! Boffelli also misses from long-range. 3-3
21.00: PENALTY TRY! Jaden Hendrikse goes over in the corner, but cannot dot the ball down. The TMO review, however, shows that the ball was illegally ripped out of the halfback’s hands and the ref awards the Boks a penalty try. 3-10
21.00: YELLOW CARD! Santiago Carreras goes to the bin. 3-10
23.00: Argentina earns a kickable penalty in front of the sticks.
24.00: PENALTY! Boffelli makes no mistake. 6-10
25.00: The visitors immediately win a penalty from the restart, Willie le Roux boots to the corner.
26.00: Another penalty to the Boks, this time for a maul infringement. Le Roux goes to the corner.
27.00: A second maul penalty for the Boks. Wash, rinse, repeat.
28.00: TRY! Hendrikse bursts around the ruck and goes through a big hole to score under the posts from five metres out. 6-15
29.00: CONVERSION! Willemse adds the extras. 6-17
30.00: South Africa wins a penalty at the breakdown after the restart when Boffelli gets isolated. Willemse kicks the Boks to the 22.
32.00: Argentina are leaking penalties, this time for offsides. Willemse kicks to the corner. HERE WE GO
33.00: TRY! A powerful driving maul by the Boks sees Malcolm Marx flop over the whitewash. 6-22
34.00: MISS! The kick is no good. 6-22
36.00: Los Pumas have conceded nine penalties to five in the first half.
38.00: Los Pumas’ lineout malfunctions as they throw skew trying to go quickly inside the Boks’ 22.
40.00: Another penalty against the hosts allows the Boks to set up camp inside the 22.
41.00: James Doleman warns the Pumas skipper about repeat infringements in the red zone. Boks opt for a scrum under the posts.
42.00: YELLOW CARD! Gonzalo Bertranou goes to the bin. 6-22
43.00: NO TRY! Lood de Jager carries four defenders over the chalk for the Boks’ fourth try, but the TMO decides the ball was lost forward in the lineout before the lock collected. 6-22
The halftime score was Los Pumas 6 Springboks 22
41.00: PEEEP! We are back underway in South America.
44.00: Both teams had good chances to score after halftime, but poor passing killed each side’s attacks.
47.00: South Africa loses a lineout inside the opposition’s 22, and Los Pumas almost score from a famed counter-attack; however, the Boks get a goal-line dropout.
48.00: Another poor pass leads to the hosts conceding their 14th penalty. WOW! Boks kick to the 22.
50.00: The tourists waste another good chance due to poor passing.
52.00: Argentina wins a penalty at the breakdown for not releasing, which relieves the pressure valve.
54.00: Some good work at the breakdown, this time from South Africa, which allows the Boks to clear the danger.
56.00: Argentina are beginning to find their expansive game, and it’s causing the Boks trouble in the wide areas. Cheika’s men have a scrum in a good attacking position; they need to keep their composure.
58.00: A sustained period of pressure ends with two penalties for Los Pumas inside the Springboks’ 22. The hosts kick to the corner.
59.00: Argentina’s attack dies when the referee gets in the way, they do, however, have a midfield scrum inside the Boks’ 22 and under the sticks.
60.00: YELLOW CARD! South Africa keeps out the hosts, but the ref blows for offsides and also gives Le Roux a card. 6-22
62.00: Poor execution again by the Argies leads to a Bok counter-attack and a scuffle after a Pumas’ knock-on. It’s heating up.
64.00: South Africa are under the pump, but the home team cannot find the try line due to poor handling and good defending by the visitors.
65.00: RECORD ALERT! Agustín Creevy comes on for Julián Montoya to become Los Pumas’ most capped Test player. Creevy overtakes Nicolás Sánchez’s previous tally of 94 Test caps in the blue and white hoops.
66.00: PENALTY TRY AND YELLOW CARD! Superb defending by South Africa as they hold up Tomás Cubelli over the line for a goal-line dropout, but the ref awards a penalty try and sends Kwagga Smith to the bin for a foul in the act of grounding. 13-22
68.00: TRY! Matías Moroni scores under the posts after a wild break from his own half. 18-22
69.00: CONVERSION! Boffelli adds the two. 20-22
75.00: TRY! De Allende powers over for a try to give the Boks breathing space. 20-27
76.00: CONVERSION! Frans Steyn adds the two. 20-29
78.00: It’s all kicking off at the death as Argentina tries to get back in the game.
79.00: The Boks need a try to stay in contention for the Rugby Championship, but time is against them.
80.00: TRY! South Africa get the bonus point win after some slick handling sees Marx score in the corner. 20-34
82.00: CONVERSION! Steyn slots the sideline conversion. 20-36
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The final score is Argentina 20 (6) South Africa 36 (22)
Tries – Penalty try, Moroni
Pen – Boffelli (2)
Con – Boffelli
Cards – Carreras (Yellow, 21′), Bertranou (Yellow, 42′)
Tries – Penalty try, Hendrikse, Marx (2), De Allende
Pen – Willemse
Con – Willemse, Steyn (2)
Cards – Le Roux (Yellow, 60′), Smith (Yellow, 66′)
Referee: James Doleman [NZ]
Assistant Ref 1: Damon Murphy [AUS]
Assistant Ref 2: Craig Evans [WAL]
TMO: Chris Hart [NZ]
15 Juan Cruz Mallía, 14 Emiliano Boffelli, 13 Jerónimo De La Fuente, 12 Matías Orlando, 11 Lucio Cinti, 10 Santiago Carreras, 9 Gonzalo Bertranou, 8 Pablo Matera, 7 Marcos Kremer, 6 Juan Martín González, 5 Tomás Lavanini, 4 Matías Alemanno, 3 Eduardo Bello, 2 Julián Montoya (captain), 1 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro
Replacements: 16 Agustín Creevy, 17 Thomás Gallo, 18 Joel Sclavi, 19 Guido Petti, 20 Rodrigo Bruni, 21 Tomás Cubelli, 22 Benjamín Urdapilleta, 23 Matías Moroni
15 Willie le Roux, 14 Canan Moodie, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Jaden Hendrikse, 8 Jasper Wiese, 7 Franco Mostert, 6 Siya Kolisi (c), 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Steven Kitshoff
Replacements: 16 Deon Fourie, 17 Ox Nche, 18 Trevor Nyakane, 19 Elrigh Louw, 20 Kwagga Smith, 21 Faf de Klerk, 22 André Esterhuizen, 23 Frans Steyn