The Springboks must claim another bonus point win when they face Argentina at Hollywoodbets Kings Park as they look to lift the Rugby Championship for the first time since 2019. Get the latest team news, kick-off times and more here!
Pivot problems for Boks ahead of Argentina showdown
The Springboks did their Rugby Championship chances no harm last weekend as a last-minute Malcolm Marx try secured an all-important bonus point win.
This week, the big news in the Bok camp is that Damian Willemse will miss the final Test owing to a concussion he picked up late on in Buenos Aries last week.
With Willemse as well as Handre Pollard missing through injury and Elton Jantjies not considered for selection due to off-field issues, Frans Steyn will don to 10 jumper at Hollywoodbets Kings Park.
The last time the evergreen utility back started at fly-half for the Springboks was against Italy way back in 2008. To put this into perspective, the likes of CJ van der Linde, Luke Watson, Ryan Kankowski and Gcobani Bobo were all starters in Cape Town on that day.
Pieter-Steph du Toit comes in for Franco Mostert in the other start to the run-on XV. The bomb squad is back, with Faf de Klerk and Kurt-Lee Arendse the only two backs on the bench.
A bonus point win is a must for the Springboks this weekend. Siya and co. will also hope that Australia can deny the All Blacks their own winning bonus point at Eden Park in the day’s earlier kick-off- more on the permutations a bit later.
Permutations: How can the Boks lift the Rugby Championship?
The competitive nature of this year’s Rugby Championship means that – mathematically speaking – any one of the four sides can claim the title on Saturday.
Realistically, however, it’s a two-horse race between the All Blacks and the Springboks. The arch-rivals are locked on 14 points apiece, with New Zealand ahead of South Africa owing to their superior points differential.
Australia beat New Zealand
In the event that Australia beat the All Blacks at Eden Park (yeah right), then the Springboks’ job is simple: beat Argentina in Durban and Kolisi will lift the Rugby Championship trophy in Durban.
New Zealand beat Australia without a bonus point
This is probably the Boks’ best chance of claiming the title. If the Aussies can trade blows with the All Blacks like they did a week ago in Melbourne, denying their trans-Tasman rivals a winning BP, then the Boks will secure a bonus point victory. Failing that, the Springboks will need to win by a significant margin with the current differential already sitting at 13 points.
New Zealand beat Australia with a bonus point
This is the worst-case scenario for the Boks. If the All Blacks run riot in Auckland against the Wallabies and scoop a winning bonus point, South Africa will probably need a repeat of their 2013 FNB Stadium heroics which saw them smash Los Pumas 73-13.
The bookies have the Boks priced up as massive 17-point favourites. The bonus point is a non-negotiable this week for the men in Green and Gold so you can expect them to implement an attacking gameplan.
If Steyn clicks at 10, I reckon we could see the Boks cruise past this handicap in front of a packed and expectant Hollywoodbets Kings Park.
To Win Match
South Africa 1/14 | Draw 33/1 | Argentina 13/2
South Africa (-17.5) 9/10 | Argentina (+17.5) 9/10
When and where to watch?
Good luck getting a ticket for this one! If you’re not going to be in one of the 52 000 seats at Hollywoodbets Kings Park, you can catch the game on SuperSport Grandstand (channel 201 on DStv) at 16:55 on Saturday afternoon with the build-up starting at 16:30.
The All Blacks’ showdown against the Wallabies kicks off at 08:55 and will also be broadcast on SuperSport Grandstand.
All times SAST.
Hollywoodbets Kings Park
It’s crazy to think that the last time Springboks played at Hollywoodbets Kings Park was way back in August 2018. They recorded a 34-21 win that day thanks to tries from Lukhanyo Am, Aphiwe Dyantyi, Makazole Mapimpi and Faf de Klerk.
The ground, however, hasn’t been the happiest of hunting grounds of the Boks over the last decade or so. They were beaten 25-37 in Durban by Argentina in 2015. A year later, the All Blacks would run in nine tries in a 57-15 rout.
They’ve won their two subsequent games at the ground against France (37-15) and Argentina (34-21).
15 Willie le Roux, 14 Canan Moodie, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Frans Steyn, 9 Jaden Hendrikse, 8 Jasper Wiese, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (c), 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Ox Nche, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Franco Mostert, 20 Duane Vermeulen, 21 Kwagga Smith, 22 Faf de Klerk, 23 Kurt-Lee Arendse.
15 Juan Cruz Mallia, 14 Emiliano Boffelli, 13 Matias Moroni , 12 Jeronimo De La Fuente, 11 Juan Imhoff, 10 Santiago Carreras, 9 Gonzalo Bertranou, 8 Pablo Matera, 7 Marcos Kremer, 6 Juan Martin Gonzalez, 5 Tomas Lavanini, 4 Matias Alemanno, 3 Eduardo Bello, 2 Julian Montoya (c), 1 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro.
Replacements: 16 Agustin Creevy, 17 Mayco Vivas, 18 Joel Sclavi, 19 Guido Petti, 20 Pedro Rubiolo, 21 Tomas Cubelli, 22 Benjamin Urdapilleta, 23 Bautista Delguy.