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RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP WRAP: Springboks disappoint at Ellis Park; Pumas score record win over Aussies

The Springboks let themselves down in Johannesburg, while Argentina came roaring back against the Wallabies in the second round of the Rugby Championship.

The Springboks let themselves down in Johannesburg, while Argentina came roaring back against the Wallabies in the second round of the Rugby Championship.

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

Boks let the All Blacks off the hook

The Springboks missed out on a rare opportunity to beat the All Blacks back-to-back after falling 23-35 at a vociferous Emirates Airline Park on Saturday. The result, which ended their hopes of finally reclaiming the Freedom Cup, has to be one of the most disappointing in recent memory and has now heaped pressure on Siya Kolisi’s men ahead of their two-match trip to Australia; a place at which they last won in 2013. Suddenly, two losses Down Under would effectively spell the end of their title challenge and mark a year of massive underachievement.

Much has been made of Jacques Nienaber’s tactical decisions in the wake of the defeat, but as poor as the Boks were, nothing should be taken away from Sam Cane’s boys. The Kiwis manned up when it mattered and their high-intensity game, which was nowhere to be seen a week before, caught the hosts off-guard on a number of occasions. With home and away clashes against Argentina to come, the Kiwis are still well in the fight for another championship.

In some good news for the Boks, Lukhanyo Am took another step towards all-time great status with a mind-blowingly good performance in Joburg – and out of position to boot. The man is a serious Test Match Animal.

Pumas punish Wallabies in San Juan

Argentina put an injury-ravaged Australia side to the sword in a record-breaking 48-17 win in San Juan. The victory, the Pumas’ highest ever over the Wallabies, sees them go top of the standings; level on 5-points with Dave Rennie’s side but with a superior points difference. Right winger Emiliano Boffelli scored a whopping 19-points alone in a performance that will give the South Americans plenty of confidence heading into two tough clashes with New Zealand.

The men in gold were without as many as five first-choice players for this one but should be able to name a much stronger lineup for their upcoming games against the Springboks. While captain Michael Hooper is still expected to miss out, the likes of Angus Bell, Scott Sio and Andrew Kellaway should all be back.

Weekend highlights

Check out some of the best moments from round two of the Rugby Championship.

Los Pumas seal record win

Argentina capped off their explosive showing in San Juan with this beauty.

Excellent Willemse sets up Mapimps

A magnificent pass from Damian Willemse set up Makazole Mapimpi as the Boks began to claw their way back into the contest.

Ardie channels his inner Julian

Ardie Savea, arguably the best loose forward on the planet right now, gave his best impression of brother Julian with this play down the left flank.

Lukhanyo does the Ampossible – again

While this Makazole Mapimpi try was ultimately chalked off for an obstruction in the build-up, it’s worth taking another look at Lukhanyo Am’s efforts here. The oke is effectively a wizard at this point.

Boks caught napping

The ABs brought a different intensity to Ellis Park and outran the Boks in open play a number of times.

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