Van Graan: Pumas have grown as a team

2015-10-30 10:05
Johann van Graan (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Springbok assistant coach Johann van Graan has heaped praise on Argentina ahead of their Rugby World Cup Bronze Final in London on Friday.

READ: Springboks' Test record against Argentina

READ: 15 stats and facts - Boks v Argentina

READ: Bok record holders at the Olympic Stadium

Los Pumas have been impressive at this year’s World Cup and are currently ranked fourth on World Rugby’s official rankings, one spot below the third-ranked Springboks.

They also created history earlier this year when they claimed their first ever win over the Boks, beating them 37-25 in a Rugby Championship encounter in Durban.

The South Africans rebounded with a 26-12 triumph in Buenos Aires the following week but they know they are in for a fight on Friday night.

“I think they’ve done unbelievably well. They’re a fantastic rugby nation. We can see that they’ve grown as a team,” Van Graan said at a press conference in Guildford, southwest of London, on Thursday.

“They’ve got some fantastic forwards, world class forwards and their backs have been unbelievable in this tournament.

“For us, it’s another Test match, another opponent. They’re one of the top four sides in the world at this stage and it takes a lot to beat any of the top 10. Tomorrow night (Friday) will be no different, it will be a massive Test match between two of the top nations in the world.”

Friday’s clash at London’s Olympic Stadium is scheduled for 22:00 (SA time).


South Africa:

15 Willie le Roux, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Victor Matfield (captain), 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Beast Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Jannie du Plessis, 19 Lood de Jager, 20 Willem Alberts, 21 Rudy Paige, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 Jan Serfontein


15 Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino, 14 Santiago Cordero, 13 Matias Moroni, 12 Jeronimo de la Fuente, 11 Horacio Agulla, 10 Nicolas Sanchez (captain), 9 Tomas Cubelli, 8 Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe, 7 Juan Manuel Leguizamon, 6 Javier Ortega Desio, 5 Tomas Lavanini, 4 Matas Alemanno, 3 Ramiro Herrera, 2 Julian Montoya, 1 Marcos Ayerza

Substitutes: 16 Lucas Noguera, 17 Juan Pablo Orlandi, 18 Juan Figallo, 19 Guido Petti, 20 Facundo Isa, 21 Martin Landajo, 22 Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias, 23 Juan Pablo Socino

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