The Springboks open their 2021 Rugby Championship campaign as defending 2019 champions, 2019 World Cup holders, and British & Irish Lions Series winners.
New Zealand opened the tournament with a comprehensive 57-22 record win over Australia at Eden Park, Auckland.
- South Africa has won 26 of their 30 previous Test encounters with Argentina (D1, L3), including their last two on the bounce.
- Only one of the Boks’ three Test defeats to Los Pumas has come in South Africa (37-25 in Durban, August 2015).
- Argentina has led at half-time in four of their last five Tests against South Africa in South Africa; although, they’ve gone on to win only once in that period (L4).
- South Africa has won nine of their last 10 Tests, including a 2-1 series win over the British and Irish Lions in July-August 2021; they have kept their opposition to single digits in six of those 10 fixtures.
- South Africa have won five of their last six Tests on home turf (L1), including their last two on the bounce after having trailed at half-time on the day in both.
- The Pumas have lost only one of their last eight Tests (W4, D3) and are undefeated in their last four (W2, D2); the last time they went longer without a defeat was a five-game winning streak from May to June in 2012.
- South Africa scored more (5) and conceded fewer (1) tries in the final quarter of games in the 2019 edition of The Rugby Championship than any other team, while Argentina managed to score just one try in that period.
- Argentina made the most tackles per game (146) and had the highest tackle success rate (89%) of any of the three teams in the 2020 Tri-Nations competition; however, their tackle success rate of 79% at the 2019 edition of The Rugby Championship was the lowest of the four teams.
- Steven Kitshoff has made 28 tackles without missing a single attempt in Test rugby since the beginning of 2021, the most of any Springboks player and the fourth most of any player from a Tier 1 nation in that time.
- Makazole Mapimpi has scored 11 tries in his last 11 Tests for the Springboks and has scored three tries in his 171 minutes of Test rugby against Argentina.
- Marcos Kremer made 72 tackles throughout the 2020 Tri-Nations competition, 26 more than any other player; however, he’s made just 16 tackles from 22 attempts in his last three games for the Pumas.
Breaking: Uncapped Jaden Hendrikse replaces Herschel Jantjies on the Springboks bench. Jantjies pulled out of the match with a hip-pointer niggle.
We are waiting for the kick-off.
1.00: PEEEEP! We are underway in Port Elizabeth at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
2.00: South Africa starts well by going through the phases before winning a penalty at the breakdown.
3.00: PENALTY! Elton Jantjies opens the scoring from in front. 3-0
5.00: Julián Montoya wins his side a penalty at the breakdown after isolating Siya Kolisi. The Boks steal the opposition’s lineout, but the exit is messy.
7.00: Both teams using the boot to play in the other’s half; it’s been a scrappy opening so far.
9.00: South Africa’s scrumming was impressive versus the British & Irish Lions, and the new-look pack has also started strong.
12.00: Los Pumas are carrying strong, getting over the gain-line, and winning the aerial battle. The Boks defence stands tall, wins back possession before Damian Willemse knocks on in the swirling wind.
14.00: TRY! An overelaborate attacking move outside the Boks’ 22 by the Argentina backs ends in calamity. Cobus Reinach picking up the loose ball and raced down the right-hand touchline to score the game’s first try. 8-0
15.00: CONVERSION! Elton Jantjies adds the extras. 10-0
16.00: Los Pumas have a kickable penalty.
17.00: PENALTY! Nicolás Sánchez puts his side on the board. 10-3
19.00: TRY! Eben Etzebeth wins the restart, the ball is shifted to Elton Jantjies, who goes to the boot. Aphelele Fassi gathers Jantjies’ pin-point crossfield kick with one hand, slips Bautista Delguy’s cover tackle to score his second Test try. 15-3
21.00: MISS! Jantjies cannot convert. 15-3
23.00: The “boring Boks” have scored two stunning tries in the first quarter –– take that, Northern Hemisphere!
24.00: PENALTY! Jantjies keeps the scoreboard ticking from in front. 18-3
26.00: Wilco Louw wins his mini-battle with Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, Frans Steyn calls for the tee.
27.00: MISS! Steyn pulls his kick past the left post. 18-3
29.00: The Boks are dominating the breakdown, they win a penalty and kick to the corner. Marcos Kremer is pinged in the maul, Jantjies again goes to the corner.
31.00: Joseph Dweba overthrows his jumper, and the visitors clear the danger, that was poor from the debutant.
34.00: Los Pumas are having a good spell inside the Boks’ half, they win a penalty in front of the posts, but they will kick to the corner.
35.00: PENALTY! Julián Montoya changed his mind and opted for the points. 18-6
37.00: Marcos Kremer concedes another penalty giving Jantjies a chance to increase his team’s lead.
38.00: PENALTY! Jantjies slots his third goal. 21-6
40.00: Argentina has a late chance at getting some points; Sanchez goes to the middle of the Boks’ 22.
42.00: PENALTY! Sanchez opts for the points as the hooter had sounded. 21-9
The halftime score was Springboks 21 Los Pumas 9
41.00: PEEEEP! We are back underway in South Africa.
42.00: MISS! Sánchez tries a snap-drop, but the ball is held up in the wind. 21-9
44.00: PENALTY! Sánchez keeps chipping away. 21-12
47.00: Boks go close but the ball is carried into touch.
48.00: PENALTY! Jantjies adds another three. 24-12
51.00: MISS! Steyn misses from the halfway line. 24-12
54.00: Boks controlling the game, now.
58.00: PENALTY! Jantjies makes no mistake. 27-12
62.00: The Boks look good value to hold on for the win, the Pumas cannot string any chances together, while the hosts look the likelier to score.
66.00: The game has become a bit scrappy as both benches are emptied.
71.00: NO TRY! Fassi finishes in the corner after some pick-and-drives by the Boks forward. Reinach’s floated skip-pass put the winger away, but the TMO pinged Malcolm Marx for crawling in the build-up. 27-12
77.00: TRY! Marco van Staden’s strong run from the back of the scrum sets up Jaden Hendrikse. who dives over in the corner to score on debut. 32-12
78.00: MISS! Morne Steyn’s drop-kick is wide. 32-12
81.00: The hooter goes, game over.
The final score is South Africa 32 (21) Argentina 12 (9)
Tries – Reinach, Fassi, Hendrikse
Pen – E. Jantjies (5)
Con – E. Jantjies
Pen – Sánchez (4)
Referee: Andrew Brace
Assistant Ref 1: Karl Dickson
Assistant Ref 2: AJ Jacobs
TMO: Tom Foley
15 Damian Willemse, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Aphelele Fassi, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Jasper Wiese, 7 Kwagga Smith, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Joseph Dweba (debut), 1 Ox Nché
Replacements: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Marvin Orie, 20 Marco van Staden, 21 Dan du Preez, 23 Morné Steyn, 25 Jaden Hendrikse
15 Santiago Carreras, 14 Bautista Delguy, 13 Santiago Chocobares, 12 Jerónimo de la Fuente, 11 Matías Moroni, 10 Nicolás Sánchez, 9 Felipe Ezcurra, 8 Rodrigo Bruni, 7 Facundo Isa, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Marcos Kremer, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Francisco Gómez Kodela, 2 Julián Montoya (captain), 1 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro
Replacements: 16 Facundo Bosch, 17 Carlos Muzzio (debut), 18 Santiago Medrano, 19 Tomás Lavanini, 20 Matías Alemanno, 21 Gonzalo Bertranou, 22 Domingo Miotti, 23 Sebastian Cancelliere