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PREVIEW: Revitalised Springboks must win in Argentina to keep Rugby Championship hopes alive

The Springboks will be looking to draw level on points with the All Blacks when they face off against Argentina on Saturday evening.

Siya Kolisi of the Springboks
Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sports

The Springboks will be looking to draw level on points with the All Blacks when they face off against Argentina on Saturday evening.

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

Argentina will be looking to make home ground advantage count when they take on the Springboks at the Libertadores de América Stadium.

With the All Blacks’ narrow win against Australia on Thursday, the door has been left ajar for the Boks to draw level on points with their Southern Hemisphere rivals on the Rugby Championship standings. 

Both Argentina and the Springboks currently sit on nine log points and a loss here could well spell the end of their title hopes. 

Will it be Michael Cheika’s resurgent Pumas who get the job done or will Jaques Nienabar’s Springboks keep their Championship alive?

Argentina v South Africa
Saturday 17 September
Libertadores de América Stadium

To Win Match
Argentina 24/10 | Draw 22/1 | South Africa 1/3
Argentina (+8.5) 9/10 | South Africa (-8.5) 9/10

Los Pumas were brought crashing back down to Earth in Round 4 as a wounded New Zealand side ripped the South American apart, running in try after try to win 53-3 in Waikato.

It was a far cry from the week prior when Michael Chieka’s boys had physically dominated their opponents on their way to claiming a famous 18-25 victory, their first-ever win on New Zealand soil.

Despite their Round 4 setback, the Argentines will be quietly confident headed into this one. They have been on an upward trajectory since their rather tepid showing against Scotland in the July series and a number of their players are stepping up.

One player who has really impressed in the competition is winger Emiliano Boffelli, who has been sensational with the boot and been a real threat down the sideline. He will certainly be one to watch this Saturday.

Like their opponents, the Springboks had a mixed bag during their tour as they went down 25-17 to the Wallabies in their Round 3 fixture before bouncing back to record a 8-24 win the following weekend.

The Springboks have been hit and miss so far in the tournament putting in a dour showing one week and then impressing the next. I reckon this inconsistency is down to team selection. The Springbok brains trust has done a lot of tinkering to the side in 2022 with some changes paying off and others proving to be costly.

One of the real success stories to come out of this chopping and hanging phase is the exciting new pairing of Jaden Hendrikse and Damien Willemse. The duo have been given the keys to the Springbok backline this weekend as they have been named to start.

Verdict: Argentina (+8.5) 9/10

I have to say that I am rather nervous about the depth at fly-half for the South Africans with veteran Frans Steyn and scrum-half Faf de Klerk being touted as alternatives should Willemse pick up an injury during the game. However, my money is still on the ‘Boks getting a win here. The forward pack looks good and they have some vastly experienced players on the bench.

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