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Rugby Championship: South Africa vs Argentina

Written by @QuintenLetcher for @Hollywoodbets. Follow them both on Twitter and Facebook now!


South Africa vs Argentina | Saturday 17 August | FNB Stadium | 17:00

rugbychampionshipsavsargintroThe second Castle Rugby Championship kicks off this weekend with Los Pumas travelling to Soweto to face the Springboks in their opening match of the 2013 competition. The Springboks haven’t lost a game since going down 16-32 to the All Blacks in their last fixture of the 2012 competition, bouncing back with a clean sweep over their Northern rivals on the end of year tour followed by thorough domination of the Castle Lager Incoming Series earlier this year. The Springboks are now sitting with six consecutive wins under their belt, but will be coming up against more formidable opponents over the next few weeks. It is time for Heyneke Meyer to be truly tested for the first time this season.


Argentina went down to the Springboks 27-6 in their opening game of last year’s inaugural competition in Cape Town, but they bounced back to secure a 16-16 draw in Mendoza, their best ever result against a Springbok side. Argentina has not fared too well since last year’s tournament, managing only one win out of their three matches while on their Northern Hemisphere tour last year, and then going on to suffer back-to-back home defeats to the English in June this year.

rugbychampionshipsavsarg1To Win (80mins)
South Africa 1/12
Argentina 83/10
Draw 50/1

Handicaps
South Africa (-15.5) 9/10
Argentina (+14.5) 1/1

South Africa
Only two changes to the Springbok side that ran out against Samoa back in June, with Duane Vermeulen named at eighthman in place of the injured Pierre Spies, while Juandre Kruger takes over in the second row of the scrum from Flip van der Merwe, who drops to the bench. Gurthro Steenkamp and Fourie du Preez have been named on the bench, du Preez making his first Bok appearance since the 2011 World Cup. Morne Steyn retains his number 10 jersey with Pat Lambie again named on the bench as cover.

Argentina 
A calf injury has ruled out Argentinean captain Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe for their opening match. Leonardo Senatore takes over from the injured captain at number eight. Centre Felipe Contepomi takes over the captaincy. This weekend sees a massive eight changes to the side that kicked off their 2012 Rugby Championship campaign, also against the Springboks, with youngster Matias Diaz coming in at loose-head in place of the retired legend Rodrigo Roncero. Leonardo Senatore, Pablo Matera and Juan Manuel Leguizamon make up the new look back row that replace Lobbe, Alvaro Galindo and Julio Farias Cabello.

VERDICT: South Africa (-15.5) 9/10
The home side needs to kick this year’s competition off with a bang if they want to have any chance of finishing near the top of the table for a change. Finishing third again could drastically reduce Meyer’s shelf life. The Springboks by 20.

Think we’ve got it wrong? Well leave your comments below and tell us how you think this is going to play out.

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