Triumphant Boks look for fast start to Rugby Championship

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2021 Rugby Championship

Matchday 1

South Africa v Argentina

Saturday 14 August 2021, 17:05 CAT
Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Gqeberha

Fresh from their epic 2-1 series triumph over the British & Irish Lions, South Africa’s Springboks will look for a fast start to the 2021 Rugby Championship when they host Argentina in the tournament’s opening match, scheduled for the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday 14 August 2021, kick-off at 17:05 CAT.

The Boks claimed a grinding 19-16 win over the Lions this past weekend in Cape Town to complete a come-from-behind series victory. The feat adds to their Rugby World Cup glory of two years ago, with captain Siya Kolisi dedicating their triumph to the people of South Africa.

“Honestly I cannot explain it in words what this meant for us as a group,” said the Boks’ skipper. “Both teams had challenges with Covid but for us our first full training was the first Test, some of us came from isolating with Covid. But the one thing we all agreed as a team (was) that will never be an excuse because that’s not what South Africans are made of.”

He added, “It was not only for us, our families and the team, but for the country as well.”

Argentina come into the clash on the back of three Tests played last month: a 24-17 win over Romania, 20-20 draw with Wales, and a 33-11 triumph over the Dragons at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, featuring 18 points from flyhalf Nicolas Sanchez.

“A huge physical challenge begins, especially in this first part,” said Pumas coach Mario Ledesma. “There were things that improved throughout the July tour, especially at the level of the forward pack, but we were a bit indebted to the game, specifically to the backs. The game with the foot and the passing game are going to be a huge challenge, so we are concentrating on that.”

South Africa winger Cheslin Kolbe
Image copyright: Getty Images

In head-to-head stats, South Africa and Argentina have met in 30 official matches since their first clash back in November 1993. The Springboks have claimed 26 wins compared to three for the Pumas, while one game has been drawn.

The teams last met in a warm-up match for the 2019 Rugby World Cup, with South Africa winning 24-18 at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria. Their last Rugby Championship clash was a week prior at Estadio Padre Ernesto Martearena in Salta, with the Boks triumphing 46-13.

South Africa v Argentina – Head-to-head

Played: 30
SA wins: 26
Argentina wins: 3
Draws: 1

Last five meetings

26 August 2017, Argentina 23-41 South Africa
18 August 2018, South Africa 34-21 Argentina
25 August 2018, Argentina 32-19 South Africa
10 August 2019, Argentina 13-46 South Africa
17 August 2019, South Africa 24-18 Argentina

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Published: 08/11/2021