Published: Tue, August 13, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Springboks thrash Argentina, wins Rugby Championship

Springboks thrash Argentina, wins Rugby Championship

On Saturday, the Springboks claimed the Rugby Championship title for the first time after claiming a resounding win over Argentina in Salta to end the shortened tournament undefeated.

Their ruthless dismantling of the Pumas followed New Zealand's shock 47-26 loss to Australia, with Steve Hansen criticising his world champions for "dumb footy" in their heavy Perth defeat.

Pollard stretched the lead with a fifth penalty before Argentina enjoyed their longest spell of possession and control without managing to breach the Springbok line as a deserved second try went begging.

Pollard kicked an early second half penalty and then scored his second try even though the Springboks were temporarily down to 14 men with Faf de Klerk sin-binned.

Pollard and Puma flyhalf Nicolas Sanchez then got locked into a kicking duel, exchanging penalties, before the 25-year-old South African dived over the tryline just before the break to make it 24-13.

"It's a nice thing for the team and also a good thing for us going into a World Cup".

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They struggled at first to use the ball effectively in outside channels, but that changed in the second half as they played with more confidence and combination while Argentina visibly exhausted.

Further scores from Makazole Mapimpi and Cheslin Kolbe rubbed salt into the wounds, South Africa running away with it to take the title for a fourth time in style. "If you look at it, nothing has really changed at the top - we have the same structures, the same CEO, the same coaching structures, but the players have stepped up. It's one step up, still a lot of work to be done but yah, it's a good feeling".

The Pumas, whose last test win was against the Springboks in Mendoza, Argentina, in the 2018 championship, have now lost their last eight test matches although close results against New Zealand and Australia had given them confidence ahead of the match in Salta.

There is now a strong belief that they can beat any other team in world rugby on their day, but the lingering doubts remain over their ability to consistently perform at the level required to do so. The scrum is something that needs work.

'Winning a trophy wasn't something we had done for a while, so that was great but in a few months there's a bigger one to win and that's our main aim.

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