Saturday, August 18, 2012

RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP: Argentina v South Africa

Argentina v South Africa in Capetown

Venue: Newlands Rugby Ground

Referee: Steve Walsh (Australia)

Argentina enters a new and exciting era in its rugby history. The Tri-Nations has been expanded to allow Argentina to enter a top level test tournament. It has been a long wait for Argentina to receive the recognition they deserve. Although unplaced in the 2011 Rugby World Cup, Argentina stunned the rugby world in 2007 when they defeated home nation France to take 3rd place.

Argentina enters this test match with a strong team. Under their new captain Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe they will be formidable up front as always, especially in the front row. The backline, especially the back three, can be reliable if not explosive. Nearly all the squad ply their rugby trade in France or England.

South Africa were very inconsistent in the test series against England.New coach Heyneke Meyer will be looking for a top performance for eighty minutes. Criticism has been levelled at their inside back combination with Morne Steyn being out of sorts both in his play and his goal kicking.

This will certainly be a most interesting game of test rugby. Can’t wait!

Last Five Encounters
09.08.2008 South Africa 63-7 in Johannesburg
14.10.2007 South Africa 37-13 in Paris (World Cup, Semi-Final)
05.11.2005 South Africa 34-23 in Buenos Aires
04.12.2004 South Africa 39-7 in Buenos Aires
28.06.2003 South Africa 26-25 in Port Elizabeth

The first official test between these two nations was in 1993. South Africa won 29-26 in a close game in Buenos Aires. This was the first of a two-test series in Buenos Aires. In 1980 a South American side toured South Africa during the apartheid period. This side played tests against South Africa in which all the players were from Argentina. In 1932 South Africa sent a Junior side to Argentina in the first of a number of similar exchanges. The most famous being a win by Argentina against the South Africa Gazelles in 1965. This win firmly placed Argentina on the world rugby map.

GWC Rugby Rankings
World Table-South Africa 4th, Argentina 8th

IRB Ranking Points
South Africa 84.87, Argentina 79.25

Prediction: Argentina has not been able to put their top side together this season. I expect them to be rusty. South Africa by 16



South Africa

15   Zane Kirchner Blue Bulls
14   Bryan Habana Western Province Stormers
13   Jean de Villiers (capt.) Western Province Stormers
12   Frans Steyn Natal Sharks
11   Lwazi Mvovo Natal Sharks
10   Morné Steyn  Blue Bulls
9   Francois Hougaard  Blue Bulls
8   Keegan Daniel Natal Sharks
7   Willem Alberts Natal Sharks
6   Marcell Coetzee  Natal Sharks
5   Andreas Bekker Western Province Stormers
4   Eben Etzebeth  Western Province Stormers
3   Jannie du Plessis  Natal Sharks
2   Bismarck du Plessis  Natal Sharks
1   Tendai Mtawarira  Natal Sharks
16   Adriaan Strauss  Cheetahs
17   Patrick Cilliers (New Cap) Golden Lions
18   Flip van der Merwe  Blue Bulls
19   Jacques Poitgieter  Blue Bulls
20   Ruan Pienaar Ulster, Ireland
21   Patrick Lambie Natal Sharks
22   JJ Engelbrecht Blue Bulls
    HEAD COACH: Heyneke Meyer



15   Lucas González Amorosino  Montpellier, France
14   Gonzalo Camacho  Exeter Chiefs, England
13   Marcelo Bosch  Biarritz, France
12   Santiago Fernández  Montpellier, France
11   Horacio Agulla  Bath Rugby, England
10   Juan Martín Hernández  Racing Metro, France
9   Nicolás Vergallo  Stade Français, France
8   Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe (Capt.) Toulon, France
7   Alvaro Galindo  Racing Metro, France
6   Julio Farías Cabello Tucuman Rugby
5   Patricio Albacete  Toulouse, France
4   Manuel Carizza  Biarritz, France
3   Juan Figallo  Montpellier, France
2   Eusebio Guinazu  Biarritz, France
1   Rodrigo Roncero  Stade Français, France
16   Bruno Postiglioni  La Plata
17   Marcos Ayerza  Leicester Tigers, England
18   Juan Pablo Orlandi  Racing Metro, France
19   Thomas Leonardi  Los Pampas XV
20   Leonardo Senatore  Los Pampas XV
21   Martin Landajo  Los Pampas XV
22   Martín Rodríguez  Stade Français, France
    HEAD COACH: Santiago Phelan

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