Preview – Argentina v South Africa

Preview – Argentina v South Africa

Argentina are looking their first victory at home against South Africa in eleven attempts.

If successful it will be their third victory in the Rugby Championship, having beaten the Springboks in Durban last year, and Australia in Mendoza in 2014.


With more defeats than victories, it was a tough year for the Pumas players appearing for Los Jaguares in their first season of Super Rugby.  But it was all part of learning for them and for Argentine rugby—and it strengthened them in the professional game.

Daniel Hourcade, the Pumas’ Head Coach, must have been reasonably satisfied with the performance of his team last weekend, because the only change he made for the return match was replacing Ramiro Moyano with Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino on the bench. Matias Moroni, who joined the squad, was not chosen among the 23 players for the big clash.

 Santiago Cordero scores in Nelspruit


South Africa

The Springboks will go to Salta intending to maintain their unbeaten eleven-test record in Argentine territory; their closest to losing was a fortunate tie in 2012. With their cadre of players from the Lions, the revelation of the 2016 Super Rugby season, they will seek to start the Rugby Championship with two wins in a row.

Head Coach Allister Coetzee would also have been pleased with the performance of his team in Nelspruit because they changed the outcome of the game in the final minutes. This is probably why, despite their drawbacks, he has kept the same starting team—except that tight head prop Vincent Koch replaces the injured Julian Redelinghuys.

Coetzee might have been expecting another close game at the death this time and has included Morne Steyn, one of the best kickers in the world, on the bench, in place of stepper Juan de Jongh, in case a clutch penalty goal is needed.

 Ramiro Herrera – not the only Argentina front rower who can offload


The forwards

Argentina will miss Marcos Ayerza again because he is one of the best loose head props in the world and has been the bane of the Springboks scrum in previous tests. Due to the new regulation of the UAR, the only eligible players are those who have contracts with the UAR or play in the Super Rugby tournament (like Tomas Cubelli for the Brumbies).

Therefore Ayerza, who plays in Europe, is not eligible; so Kock, the Bok loosehead, can sleep peacefully the night before the game.

The backs

Both backlines are unchanged, so we can expect a similar encounter as at Nelspruit: Argentina trying to play with the ball-in-hand, Aussie-style; South Africa trying to take advantage of the physical strength of their players and deny them good ball.

Springbok flyhalf, Elton Jantjies, has been harshly criticised by the media due to his performance last week but Coetzee turned a deaf ear and started him again, trusting that he will rise above it. If he can combine well with his Lions’ scrumhalf partner Faf de Klerk, one of the best South African players in Super Rugby this year, the Bok backline will be sharper this week.

Knowing this, Los Pumas will attack channel 2, to pressure “Jesus Jantjies”.

Elton Jantjies – criticised last week


Why should I bother?

Whilst there was some dull rugby played last Saturday the swing in scoring was exciting and the same should be expected in the return game. South Africa repeated some of the lethargy and errors they showed against Ireland in June and were ripe for the plucking. They had ten points scored against them with a Puma in the sin-bin—the same amount they were down with twelve minutes to play; yet they won.

It’s worth a watch to see if the Boks dither around again, and if they do, can Los Pumas put them away this time?


At home Argentina are always an opponent to be feared as the Springboks know. If they can match the performance they had last week in Nelspruit, and finish better, they can get their first win in the 2016 tournament, and their first victory against South Africa at home.

It should be a tough, even match decided in the final minutes. I expect Argentina to keep their concentration this time for the win.

Argentina by 1

 Springbok Head Coach, Allister Coetzee, with skipper Adriaan Stauss – happy with win


Match details


1. NT Chaparro
2. Agustin Creevy (c)
3. Ramiro Herrera
4. Matias Alemanno
5. Tomas Lavanini
6. Pablo Matera
7. JM Leguizamon
8. Facundo Isa
9. Martin Landajo
10. Nicolas Sanchez
11. Manuel Montero
12. JM Hernandez
13. Matias Orlando
14. Santiago Cordero
15. Joaquín Tuculet

16. Julian Montoya
17. Felipe Arregui
18. Enrique Pieretto
19. Guido Petti
20. JO Desio
21. Tomas Cubelli
22. SG Iglesias
23. LG Amorosino

South Africa

1. Tendai Mtawarira
2. Adriaan Strauss (c)
3. Vincent Koch
4. Eben Etzebeth
5. Lood de Jager
6. Francois Louw
7. Teboho Mohoje
8. Warren Whiteley
9. Faf de Klerk
10. Elton Jantjies
11. Bryan Habana
12. Damian de Allende
13. Lionel Mapoe
14. Ruan Combrinck
15. Johan Goosen

16. Bongi Mbonambi
17. Steven Kitshoff,
18. Lourens Adriaanse
19. Pieter-Steph du Toit
20. Jaco Kriel
21. Rudy Paige
22. Morne Steyn
23. Jesse Kriel.


Date: Saturday 27 August

Kick-off: 16:40 Local; 05.40 AEST (Sunday)

Venue: Estadio Ernesto Martearena, Salta

Referee: Jerome Garces

Assistant referees: Glen Jackson, Ben O’Keefe

TMO: George Ayoub



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