The Springboks will claim The Rugby Championship title with a big enough bonus-point win over Argentina at Hollywoodbets Kings Park in the final match of the competition on Saturday.
South Africa v Argentina
Saturday 24 September
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
As things stand, the All Blacks are level with the Boks at the top of the log but have a crucial points difference advantage of 13. They face the Wallabies in Bledisloe 2 at Eden Park earlier in the day, a venue at which they haven’t lost since 1994. That record includes 47-straight matches unbeaten.
However, if the Australians can cause a miraculous upset and win, or alternatively stop the Kiwis from securing a bonus-point victory, Jacques Nienaber’s men can claim the championship by collecting maximum points against the Pumas.
Though unlikely, the Wallabies could still take the tournament too if they win with a BP and neither the Boks nor All Blacks earn a log point. It’s still mathematically possible for Argentina to become champions, but that prospect is effectively out of the question given their poor points difference.
The last time Frans started at 10 for the Boks:— Jon Cardinelli (@jon_cardinelli) September 20, 2022
– Monty had yet to become Boks' 1st centurion
– Rassie was in 1st year as Stormers coach (Nienas was S&C coach)
– Duane was 4 years away from a Test debut
– Stick was Blitzboks skipper
– Mallet was Italy coach
– ELVs were a thing https://t.co/Tp2yv7Uutk
Bok team news
With Damian Willemse out concussed, Nienaber has drafted in Frans Steyn at 10 at his old stomping ground. Pieter-Steph du Toit, another former Shark, comes in at blindside in place of Franco Mostert. The 6-2 bench split returns.
The Boks will be looking to play much the same way they did in the 36-20 win in Buenos Aires a week ago; dodgy third-quarter aside. In all likelihood, they’ll be out to rack up as big a score as possible but must earn gainline dominance first or risk suffering a second loss to the Argies in Durban following their infamous 2015 defeat. The South Americans are always up for a good scrap and the hosts will be punished if they get ahead of themselves.
The outcome of this season’s championship is very much in New Zealand’s hands. Their significant points difference advantage, coupled with their record in Auckland, all point to their winning yet another title this weekend.
Indeed, if that reality does come to pass, the world champions may look back on their defeat to the ABs at a sell-out Ellis Park in August and wonder just how they let this one slip.