South Africa has had several hours to digest what they need to do against Argentina to win the 2022 Rugby Championship at Kings Park in Durban.
The Springboks will need to beat Los Pumas by 40 points (with a bonus point) to claim the Rugby Championship title after the All Blacks thrashed the Wallabies 40-14 in Auckland.
- South Africa has won their last five Tests against Argentina; the last and only time the Springboks enjoyed a longer winning run against the Pumas was during their first 14 meetings from November 1993 to August 2012.
- The Springboks have won 14 of their 15 Tests against Los Pumas at home (L1), including their last six despite leading at halftime in just three of those meetings.
- Argentina has lost each of their last two Tests, the last time the Pumas went on a longer losing run was a seven-match span from August to November in 2021.
- Jacques Nienaber’s side has made 42 line breaks in 2022, the second-most of any Tier One nation (Ireland – 45), and 11 more than Michael Cheika’s charges (31).
- South Africa has retained possession on 34 kicks in play in 2022, six more than any other Tier One nation, and 13 more than Argentina (21).
- Argentina (29) and South Africa (28) have won the most turnovers of any teams in The Rugby Championship in 2022.
- Both teams have also made the most and second-most tackles (Argentina – 706 & South Africa – 600).
- Emiliano Boffelli is the second-highest points scorer with 65 points, six behind Richie Mo’unga (71).
- Pablo Matera has made the second-most carries (58), two behind Ardie Savea (60), with a game to play.
- Lood de Jager has won 36 line outs (inc. 2 steals) in 2022, the second-most by any player from Tier One nation this year (Federico Ruzza – 53 for Italy).
- Matías Moroni has made dominant contact on seven tackles in 2022; only Italy’s Monty Ioane (8) has logged more in this category among players from Tier One nations.
- Marcos Kremer leads the way in the tackle count with 66, three ahead of Julián Montoya (63) and four ahead of Tomás Lavanini (62).
Ahead of this match, the bookmakers give Argentina an 18-point start this match, so they expect the Springboks to win by 18 points.
We are waiting for the kick-off.
In the meantime, have a look at the match preview.
PEEEP! We are underway at Kings Park in Durban.
3.00: Tomás Lavanini – who else – gives away the game’s first penalty. Frans Steyn’s kick did not find touch, and then Steyn’s clearance got charged down for a goal-line dropout.
4.00: Jerónimo De La Fuente drops the ball under pressure for the game’s first scrum.
6.00: Jasper Wiese, Lood de Jager and Eben Etzebeth all with three barnstorming carries and offloads to set the hosts away off the back of the scrum. The ball is spread wide to Damian de Allende, who is tackled and gives away a penalty for not releasing.
7.00: Jaden Hendrikse tackles Juan Imhoff into touch with a try-saving shot.
8.00: Willie le Roux knocks on in contact before Matías Moroni’s speculative kick rolls over the dead ball line.
9.00: The Boks are shifting the ball wide at every opportunity, but their passing and catching have been poor.
10.00: Back-to-back penalties allow Steyn to set up an attacking lineout inside the red zone.
11.00: NO TRY! Eben Etzebeth beaks out the front of the driving maul to dot down near the flag, but the officials once again cock up the call, and the try is ruled out. Apparently, Siya Kolisi took the ball from Etzebeth before the lock ripped it out of his skipper’s hands. The TMO could not seriously deem that had happened because it was inconclusive on the replay. Another bad call by the officials. 0-0
13.00: Julián Montoya wins a crucial turnover on his try line and the Pumas clear to the halfway line.
14.00: South Africa is playing fast and loose, which does not suit their conservative style, and it might come back to hurt them. Nienaber’s men must play to win first before anything else.
15.00: Frans Steyn again misses touch with a penalty, but Santiago Carreras’ 22 dropout goes out on the full for a midfield scrum on the tourist’s 22.
16.00: YELLOW CARD! Marcos Kremer is off for cynical offsides at the base of the Boks’ scrum. 0-0
17.00: Siya Kolisi has eschewed four kickable goals as the Springboks chase an improbable 39-point win.
18.00: Another driving maul by the Boks comes to nothing. The hosts, however, go through the phases, pounding the Argies before winning another penalty.
19.00: TRY! Jasper Wiese dots down for the easiest try he’ll score after the Bok pack dismantled the Pumas’ forwards, walking the opposition backwards over their line. 5-0
20.00: CONVERSION! Steyn slots the kick. 7-0
21.00: Steyn clears to touch, but again, it’s not his best kick out of hand.
23.00: Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro collapses under the weight of Frans Malherbe, but Steyn misses his third penalty touch-finder.
25.00: The Springboks pack is destroying their opponents, but the World Cup champs’ handling is horrible, killing a promising attack.
26.00: Chaparro collapses again, this time Le Roux – to the delight of the crowd – takes the kick for touch.
27.00: YELLOW CARD! A side entry by Juan Martín González sees the flanker go to the bin. 7-0
28.00: HELD UP! Le Roux goes for glory but is held up by locks Tomás Lavanini and Matías Alemanno for a goal-line dropout. 7-0
29.00: TRY! Siya Kolisi breaks through the powerful driving maul to the delight of the crowd. 12-0
30.00: CONVERSION! The kick is good. 14-0
34.00: The Boks’ defending has been immense, but the Argies cannot find a way through.
36.00: The hosts win another turnover penalty, Steyn calls for the tee.
38.00: PENALTY! Steyn slots the long-distance goal to increase the lead. 17-0
40.00: TRY! Gonzalo Bertranou dots down to silence the boisterous Kings Park crowd. 17-5
41.00: CONVERSION! Boffelli slots the two points. 17-7
The halftime score was Springboks 17 Los Pumas 7
41.00: PEEEP! We are back underway in Durban.
42.00: Back-to-back penalties from the hosts allow the Pumas a platform from five out.
43.00: Almost a score for the visitors, but Canan Moodie’s tackle saves the day.
46.00: Argentina gives away a silly penalty near the home team’s line. Steyn boots to the halfway line.
48.00: TRY! Juan Martín González dances his way down the sideline, sending Willie Le Roux to the shops with a swivel of the hips before racing away to score. 17-12
48.00: CONVERSION! Boffelli slots from wide. 17-14
52.00: Los Pumas are all over the Boks, who look shell-shocked since the break.
55.00: PENALTY TRY! Another driving maul ends in points, this time a penalty try as the visitors crumple in a heap. 24-14
56.00: YELLOW CARD! Jerónimo De La Fuente goes to the bin. 24-14
59.00: The rain is starting to come down and the wind is beginning to swirl, which will hamper the handling of both teams.
60.00: YELLOW CARD! Etzebeth pushes Matera into a Pumas player. Boffelli jumped into his own team-mate and is down injured, but that was not from Etzebeth. Crap call by the officials again. 24-14
65.00: YELLOW CARD! Faf goes to the bin after seven penalties in nine minutes. 24-14
68.00: TRY! The dam wall bursts as Moroni crosses untouched after the Pumas battered the Bok try line. 24-19
69.00: CONVERSION! Boffelli adds the extars. 24-21
72.00: TRY! Mbongeni Mbonambi crashes over. 29-21
73.00: CONVERSION! The kick is good. 31-21
73.00: YELLOW CARD! Joel Sclavi is off too. Wow! 31-21
75.00: A powerful scrum leads to another scrum penalty for South Africa. Faf is back.
78.00: Another poor call by this ref, who should have given the hosts a scrum penalty; instead, it goes to the South Americans.
80.00: The hooter sounds with the Boks on the attack.
81.00: TRY! Kurt-Lee Arendse ends the game after a sublime interchange between Makazole Mapimpi and Canan Moodie.
82.00: CONVERSION! The kick is good. 38-21
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The final score is South Africa 38 (17) Argentina 21 (7)
Tries – Wiese, Kolisi, penalty try, Mbonambi, Arendse
Pen – Steyn
Con – Steyn (4)
Cards – Etzebeth (Yellow, 60′), De Klerk (Yellow, 65′)
Tries – Bertranou, González, Moroni
Con – Boffelli (3)
Cards – Kremer (Yellow, 16′), González (Yellow, 27′), De La Fuente (Yellow, 56′), Sclavi (Yellow, 73′)
Referee: Damon Murphy [AUS]
Assistant Ref: Frank Murphy [IRE]
Assistant Ref 2: Andrea Piardi [ITA]
TMO: Chris Hart [NZ]
15 Willie le Roux, 14 Canan Moodie, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Frans Steyn, 9 Jaden Hendrikse, 8 Jasper Wiese, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Steven Kitshoff
Replacements: 16 Mbongeni Mbonambi, 17 Retshegofaditswe Nche, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Franco Mostert, 20 Duane Vermeulen, 21 Kwagga Smith, 22 Francois de Klerk, 23 Kurt-Lee Arendse
15 Juan Cruz Mallía, 14 Emiliano Boffelli, 13 Matías Moroni, 12 Jerónimo De La Fuente, 11 Juan Imhoff, 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 Mayco Vivas, 18 Joel Sclavi, 19 Guido Petti, 20 Pedro Rubiolo, 21 Tomás Cubelli, 22 Benjamín Urdapilleta, 23 Bautista Delguy