Heading into the final round of fixtures in the Rugby Championship, the Springboks were level on 14 log points with the All Blacks, but trailed the Kiwis by 13 on points’ difference.
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With the All Blacks hosting Australia at Eden Park on Saturday, the hope from a South African perspective would have been for the Wallabies to either claim a win, deny New Zealand a bonus-point, or at least not lose by a massive margin.
As it turned out, the Wallabies could manage none of that, with an error-filled performance allowing the All Blacks to really have it all their own way as they powered to a 40-14 bonus-point win.
New Zealand are now almost certainly assured of claiming the Rugby Championship title now considering that the Springboks could only edge in front if they beat Argentina by 39 points.
If teams finish level on log points, the determining factors will be most wins, then overall points difference.
If still level then the points difference in matches between the two teams will be the final deciding factor, which is at least in favour of the Boks.
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Kick-off at Hollywodbets Kings Park on Saturday is at 17:05.
Springbok team: 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 (captain), 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Steven Kitshoff
Subs: 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.
Argentina team: 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.
Subs: 16 Agustin Creevy, 17 Mayco Vivas, 18 Joel Sclavi, 19 Guido Petti, 20 Pedro Rubiolo, 21 Tomas Cubelli, 22 Benjamin Urdapilleta, 23 Bautista Delguy.
STATS & FACTS
Springbok record against Argentina in South Africa:
Played 15, Won 14, Lost 1; Points for 550, Points against 272, Average score 37-17; Tries scored 65, Tries conceded 25; Highest score 73, Biggest win 60 pts (73-13), Win % 93%
Springbok record at Hollywoodbets Kings Park (overall):
Played 34, Won 21, Lost 10, Drawn 3; Points for 835; Points against 601; Tries for 87; Tries against: 59.
Springbok team records at Hollywoodbets Kings Park:
Biggest win: 101-0 v Italy on 19 June 1999
Most tries: 15 v Italy on 19 June 1999
Most conversions: 13 v Italy on 19 June 1999
Most penalty goals: 8 v New Zealand on 1 August 2009
Most drop goals: 3 v South America on 3 May 1980 and v Ireland on 6 June 1981
- Eben Etzebeth will extend his run as the most capped Springbok player against Argentina with this match marking his 19th Test against Los Pumas from 2012 to 2022.
- Following his two tries last weekend, Malcolm Marx is now the Springbok hooker with the most Test tries – 13. Bongi Mbonambi is second on the list with 11 Test tries.
- The total Test caps for the Springbok starting line-up is 809.
- There are 318 caps in the backline with 491 caps amongst the forwards. On the bench there are a further 292
- The average caps per player in the backline are 46, the forwards 59, while the players on the bench average 36.