South Africa has won 87% of their men’s Tests against Argentina (27/31) – the Springboks’ second-best win percentage against any country they have faced at least 10 times (93% v Italy).
South Africa have lost only one of their last 30 men’s Tests in Port Elizabeth (W26, D3), a 26-9 defeat to the British & Irish Lions in July 1974; the Springboks are undefeated in their 16 Tests in the city since then (W15, D1).
- Argentina will be looking to avoid back-to-back defeats in Tests for the first time since September 2019, following their 32-12 loss to South Africa last time out.
- South Africa are undefeated in their last four Tests in The Rugby Championship (W3, D1) – the last time the Springboks logged a longer unbeaten run in the competition was a five-match win streak across the 2008 and 2009 Tri-Nations campaigns.
- Los Pumas have won only one of their last 10 Tests in The Rugby Championship (D2, L7), including the 2020 Tri-Nations; it came in the form of a 25-15 victory over New Zealand in November 2020.
- South Africa have made fewer than five clean breaks in each of their last three men’s Tests, after doing so only once in their 16 matches prior.
- Argentina collectively beat 22 defenders in Round 1 of The Rugby Championship 2021, the most by any team and three more than South Africa (19).
- Lood De Jager won the joint-most lineouts (incl. steals) of any player in Round 1 of the 2021 edition of The Rugby Championship (6 – also Sam Whitelock) and double the tally of any Argentina player.
- Julian Montoya made the most tackles (13/13) of any player without missing a single attempt in Round 1 of the 2021 edition of The Rugby Championship.
- Aphelele Fassi has scored a try in each of his first two Tests for the Springboks, as well as providing one assist.
We are waiting for the kick-off.
In the meantime, why not have a look at the match preview.
1.00: PEEEEP! Handre Pollard kicks off for South Africa at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
2.00: Superb work by Pablo Matera to win the turnover and penalty inside his 22.
5.00: Argentina is getting the better of the Boks in the tight, winning two penalties from turnovers at the breakdown.
7.00: Malcolm Marx wins an important penalty inside his 22 after Los Pumas went through the phases. Ledesma’s side looks up for this.
9.00: Argentina is conceding lots of penalties inside their 22, Pollard kicks to the corner.
11.00: Several more penalties for offside near the visitors’ line means the ref gives a warning; there probably should have been a card by now.
11.00: PENALTY! Pollard opens the scoring from in front. 0-3
13.00: Finally! A referee who calls a forward pass, good work Karl Dickson.
14.00: Trevor Nyakane limps off. Steven Kitshoff is on.
16.00: Both teams are looking to play in the wide channels – after a few pick-and-drives – but the umbrella defence has been solid by both teams.
18.00: PENALTY! A big scrum by the Boy forwards leads to a kickable penalty in front of the posts. 0-6
21.00: Another kickable penalty to the Boks.
22.00: PENALTY! Pollard lands a third. 0-9
24.00: PENALTY! Miotti puts his team on the board. 3-9
27.00: Jacques Nienaber’s men are mauling well, but they have not been clinical enough in the opposition’s 22 despite leading. Kolisi’s side will need to turn threes into fives or no bonus points (unless they lose by seven, of course).
29.00: De Jager is taken out in the air during the lineout; Pollard calls for the tee.
30.00: PENALTY! Pollard’s kick is in-off the lefthand post. 3-12
33.00: YELLOW CARD! Rodrigo Bruni is in the bin. 3-12
33.00: PENALTY! Pollard lands another three. 3-15
34.00: Pollard boots the Boks to the corner.
38.00: The TMO interfears with a perfectly legitimate tackle by Am on Juan Cruz Mallía. Argentina then win another penalty on the halfway line, which allows themselves a chance to take some points into the shed.
41.00: MISS! Miotti makes no mistake. 3-15
The halftime score was Argentina 3 South Africa 15
41.00: PEEEEP! We are back underway in South Africa.
43.00: MISS! Miotti pulls another kick wide. 3-15
45.00: The Boks are all over the Pumas.
46.00: TRY! Mapimpi walks over for his fourth Test try versus Los Pumas. 3-20
48.00: CONVERSION! The kick is good. 3-22
51.00: Boks win another scrum penalty, but Argentina wins the intercept and counter-attacks from their half. The game is beginning to open up.
52.00: TRY! Marx flops over. 3-27
53.00: CONVERSION! The kick is good. 3-29
56.00: It’s all Springboks right now, the Pumas are fading.
61.00: South Africa all over the visitors.
63.00: Oh dear, the Pumas knock-on with the try line at their mercy.
68.00: South Africa will not let Argentina get through, the visitors are trying everything, but the defence is too tight.
71.00: Another poor play by the visitors kills a scoring chance.
73.00: Hendrikse is off injured, it looks bad.
76.00: Boks continue to look for the bonus point.
79.00: Argentina with a final attack, but a forward pass kills another certain try.
82.00: YELLOW CARD! Tomas Lavanini goes to the bin. 3-29
83.00: One last attack for the Boks comes to nothing.
85.00: Pumas have a last shot at a try, they kick to the corner.
86.00: TRY! Pablo Matera is over. 8-29
87.00: CONVERSION! The kick is good. 10-29
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The final score is Argentina 10 (3) South Africa 29 (15)
Tries – Matera
Pen – Miotti
Con – Sanchez
Cards – Bruni (Yellow, 33′), Lavanini (Yellow, 82′)
Tries – Mapimpi, Marx
Pen – Pollard (5)
Con – Pollard (2)
Referee: Karl Dickson
Assistant Ref 1: Marius vd Westhuizen
Assistant Ref 2: AJ Jacobs
TMO: Tom Foley
15 Juan Cruz Mallía, 14 Ignacio Mendy, 13 Santiago Chocobares, 12 Jeronimo de la Fuente, 11 Santiago Carreras, 10 Domingo Miotti, 9 Gonzalo Bertranou, 8 Rodrigo Bruni, 7 Guido Petti, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Tomas Lavanini, 4 Matias Alemanno, 3 Francisco Gomez Kodela, 2 Julian Montoya (captain), 1 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro
Replacements: 16 Facundo Bosch, 17 Facundo Gigena, 18 Santiago Medrano, 19 Marcos Kremer, 20 Juan Martin Gonzalez, 21 Felipe Ezcurra, 22 Nicolas Sanchez, 23 Lucio Cinti
15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Jasper Wiese, 7 Franco Mostert, 6 Siyamthanda Kolisi (captain), 5 Lodewyk de Jager (50th Test), 4 Marvin Orie, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Trevor Nyakane
Replacements: 16 Mbongeni Mbonambi, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Nicolaas van Rensburg (Debut), 20 Albertus Smith, 21 Dan du Preez, 22 Jaden Hendrikse, 23 Damian Willemse