South Africa v Argentina - Springboks player ratings

Ross Houston
August 11, 2019

The Springboks powered their way to an emphatic 46-13 bonus-point victory over Argentina to win the Rugby Championship title in Salta, Argentina, on Saturday when they ended their 2019 campaign undefeated.

Pollard scored two of their five tries and kicked 21 points (five penalties and three conversions) for a personal best 31-point haul.

South Africa finished with 12 points in a competition reduced to one round from the traditional two because of the World Cup in Japan from September 20.

The Springboks last won a competition in 2009 when they finished first in the Tri-Nations, the forerunner of the Rugby Championship.

The Springboks went into the match knowing avoiding defeat would be enough to secure the title thanks to Australia's 47-26 victory over New Zealand earlier in the day.

"It's a great feeling for us to walk away with the title, but in the end it's a stepping stone for us going into the World Cup".

"We started the Castle Lager Rugby Championship working on executing our plans, and in a way, we are happy with our performance but there are still a few things to work on".

It took the Pumas just 100 seconds to take the lead through a Santiago Cordero try on a clear, late southern hemisphere winter afternoon before a sell-out 22,190 crowd in the northwestern city.

Argentina came out firing on all cylinders and they were in front inside two minutes, Cordero finishing in the right corner after getting on a clever kick from Sanchez - who then added the extras.

It was a particularly pleasing score for the Springboks, who have struggled this season to turn mauls into tries. The lead changed hands three times in an exchange of penalties between Pollard and Pumas flyhalf Nicolas Sanchez before the Springboks edged ahead.

But the Pollard try and conversion gave South Africa a 24-13 half-time advantage after a half in which the major difference between the teams was the scrums.

Second row Franco Mostert made the break after taking an offload from replacement prop Steven Kitshoff, followed by Cheslin Kolbe - standing in at scrum-half for the sin-binned de Klerk - recycling the ball for Pollard to racing over for his second converted try.

South Africa responded with Pollard's first penalty and a try by hooker Bongi Mbonambi from a concerted lineout drive.

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