Rugby Championship

Springboks wary of Pumas

2014-08-15 05:00
Heyneke Meyer (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - South Africa will be seeking to avoid any unnecessary scares when they take on underdogs Argentina at the start of their Rugby Championship campaign on Saturday but will be wary about what looks on paper to be a routine assignment.

South Africa coach Heyneke Meyer has spent the week stressing the difficulty of the task at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria when many of rest of his compatriots are looking further ahead to the meetings with Australia and New Zealand in the annual four-nation competition.

"Argentina have always been difficult to play against so we are going out there to play our best rugby possible," he told reporters.

A bruising forward challenge is expected as Argentina have shown signs of becoming a scrummaging force again and they will have a polished set of exciting backs to boot.

"In the scrum it's a huge contest, you have to scrum well to get your ball. They have some of the best guys at the breakdowns," Meyer added of an Argentine team who have spent close to a month working on their conditioning at a high performance centre in Pensacola, Florida.

South Africa, who have captain Jean de Villiers back from injury, will be firm favourites to get off to a winning start but the unpredictable nature of the South Americans means the Springboks can never be sure of what they will be up against.

Although they are yet to win a Rugby Championship game, Argentina show continuing sign of improvement but usually offer either stout resistance or implode as they did last year when the Springboks romped home in a nine-try 73-13 rout at Johannesburg's Soccer City.

A week later, however, albeit on Argentine soil, South Africa had to scramble two late penalties to squeeze home 22-17 in Mendoza.

Argentina have a familiar look about their line-up as well as a promise of freshness with the appointment of Daniel Hourcade as coach and hooker Agustin Creevy as new captain.

"South Africa are a thoroughbred team with strong players and a physical game both in attack and defence," Hourcade said on Thursday. He was appointed to a two-year contract after the end of last year's Rugby Championship.

"Discipline will be crucial and we have talked a lot about this and trained hard for this. Defence is key but we will use our opportunities to attack," he added.

The two countries meet again on Aug. 23 in Salta.


South Africa: 15-Willie le Roux; 14-Cornal Hendricks, 13-Damian de Allende, 12-Jean de Villiers (captain), 11-Bryan Habana, 10-Handre Pollard, 9-Ruan Pienaar, 8-Duane Vermeulen, 7-Willem Alberts, 6-Francois Louw, 5-Lood de Jager, 4-Bakkies Botha, 3-Jannie du Plessis, 2-Bismarck du Plessis, 1-Tendai Mtawarira

Replacements: 16-Adriaan Strauss, 17-Trevor Nyakane, 18-Frans Malherbe, 19-Eben Etzebeth, 20-Marcell Coetzee, 21-Francois Hougaard, 22-Morne Steyn, 23-Jan Serfontein

Argentina: 15-Joaquin Tuculet, 14-Horacio Agulla, 13-Marcelo Bosch, 12-Juan Martin Hernandez, 11-Manuel Montero, 10-Nicolas Sanchez, 9-Martin Landajo, 8-Juan Manuel Leguizamon, 7-Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe, 6-Paul Matera, 5-Thomas Lavanini, 4-Mariano Galarza, 3-Ramiro Herrera 2-Agustin Creevy (captain), 1-Marcos Ayerza

Replacements: 16-Matias Cortese, 17-Paz Lucas Noguera, 18-Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 19-Matias Alemanno, 20-Leonardo Senatore, 21-Thomas Cubelli, 22-Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias, 23-Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino

Referee: Steve Walsh (Australia).


What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Is Allister Coetzee the right man to coach the Springboks?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.