South Africa look back to their best after beating Argentina soundly 37-15 at Port Elizabeth on Saturday.
The Pumas have some serious discipline issues and experienced a frustrating afternoon away from home. Here are how the two teams fared.
- Tendai Mtawarira- 8
Tackled his heart out today showing he hasn’t lost any of his typical energy and endurance. Won the scrum contest as well to top off a fine showing from the old man of the South African pack. The Beast isn’t finished yet!
- Malcolm Marx- 8
Along with Jaco Kriel, Marx terrorized the breakdown all day. The pair of them are impossible to shift because of their strength and body positions. Still prone to the odd lapse of concentration, for example, a high tackle early on, but Marx showed he is prepared for the big occasions.
- Coenie Oosthuizen- 8
A massive game from Oosthuizen. Obliterated the Pumas front row and had ascendancy throughout the game. Another man who implemented the choke tackle well and can be happy with his day’s work. Also lasted over 70 minutes!
- Eben Etzebeth- 8
Took on the responsibility of carrying and distributing, at times playing the first receiver role well. Edged a tough contest against the two young Puma locks. Captaincy suits him and he led from the front. A big game and looks to be maturing every game. His clash with Brodie Retallick and Sam Whitelock will be colossal.
- Franco Mostert- 6
Grafted for 55 minutes and added balance to the second row, allowing Etzebeth to play the enforcer role. However, he gave away 2 penalties in 2 minutes and was replaced soon after. Not his best game after a great Super Rugby season with the Lions.
- Siya Kolisi- 7
Another who excelled today at the breakdown. On a number of occasions his counter rucking forced turnovers and his power and intensity was inspirational. Looks to be growing into a leader in this South African team and was rewarded with a try.
- Jaco Kriel- 9
A huge effort from the Lions flanker, slowing ball down and forcing turnovers on the floor and through the choke tackle. Switched between the 7 and 8 roles effectively, a real menace all day. My Man of the Match
- Uzair Cassiem- 8
A surprise selection, Cassiem showed his athleticism today, running his socks off and appearing all over the pitch. His work in the lineout was essential for regaining possession. Cassiem proved the doubters wrong and should definitely start again next week.
- Ross Cronje- 6
An unspectacular performance from Cronje. A couple of loopy passes looked average when you compare it to the razor sharp service of someone like Aaron Smith. Did his job efficiently but needs crisper service.
- Elton Jantjies- 7
Kicked his goals and attacked the gain line all day. Consistently relied on the inside switch with his wingers and brought people into the game well. An assured performance which should silence the critics who say he is too inconsistent
- Courtnall Skosan- 7
Offered himself brilliantly off his wing and finished his try amazingly well. Showed determination and speed in the build up to his try showing that he could be international quality. Looked desperate to impress which is will be pleasing for Alistair Coetzee.
- Jan Serfontein- 6
A quiet game today for Serfontein. Tackled well in midfield and threatened the gain line on a few occasions. Overshadowed by the performances of his wingers around him. An understated showing from the classy centre.
- Jesse Kriel- 6
In a similar manner to Serfontein, Kriel went about his business in an unfussy manner. Made sure his opposite centres had no room to move and defended physically all game. Both centres made sure Argentina were contained brilliantly, an underrated job.
- Raymond Rhule- 7
Ran hard, direct and very very quickly whenever he got his hands on the ball. Known for his speed, Rhule took his opportunity well scoring in the corner. Starting to look like a deadly pairing with Courtnall Skosan
- Andries Coetzee- 7
An elegant full back who looked composed among all the manic aggression unfolding around him. Won the kicking battle for territory and had a good break early on in the game. Looks like a graceful presence at the back.
- Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro- 5
Made lots of tackles when the South African were in control in the first half. Struggled in the scrums and was definitely at fault for at least 2 penalties. Not his best game but was defensively very solid.
- Agustin Creevy- 7
The king of the turnover. Creevy was his usual self at the breakdown, securing 2 impressive turnovers in the first half as well as carrying hard. Never seems to have a bad game. The best hooker in the world yet once again subbed off far too soon.
- Enrique Pieretto- 4
Lost the scrummaging battle and was bested more than a few times by Coenie Oosthuizen. Offered little elsewhere and was replaced before long. He will be lucky to start the next game.
- Thomas Lavanini- 7
Had a really good battle with Eben Etzebeth. His tackle count was massive today, making chop tackle after chop tackle proving why some say he is one of the fittest locks on the planet. He still has disciplinary issues but his contribution in the tackle area was impressive.
- Guido Petti- 6
Along with Lavanini, the two orange scrum caps were seen all over the park today. A tireless effort and lasted the full 80. However, he must be partly blamed for the number off turnovers conceded and needs to improve his clear out technique.
- Pablo Matera- 6
Brought some much-needed snarl and aggression to the Pumas pack. Tackled his heart out, even dumping Etzebeth at one point but he was shackled well by the opposition back row and lost the battle of the breakdown.
- Thomas Lezana- 7
Had a tough first half giving away two penalties but put that behind him and started the second half brilliantly with a beautiful turnover and a break minutes later which lead to three points. Very athletic and quick for a back row.
- Leonardo Senatore (Replaced by Javier Ortega Desio)- 5
An injury meant Senatore was replaced early. Unfortunately, Desio is a third flanker and Argentina desperately needed a big number 8 to take the fight to the Boks. Contributed little outside of the line out.
- Martin Landajo- 7
A very underrated scrum half who deserves to be mentioned more often. Great support play for his try and always threatens around the ruck. Slowly becoming a leader in the Argentinian side and is an important player when they are playing well
- Nicholas Sanchez- 3
A truly awful game. A missed kick to touch, two missed kicks at goal and missed the tackle on Courtnall Skosan for the try. A tough day at the office for the fly half and the team improved when he was replaced.
- Emiliano Boffelli- 7
Argentina’s most dangerous player by a country mile. Boffeli was instrumental for the Landajo try with a smart kick that showcased a cool head under pressure. At 22, there is definitely more to come from the young Puma who was one of few to continuously threaten the Springboks.
- Jeronimo De la Fuente- 5
Looked very one-dimensional today. The Pumas backline couldn’t crack the sturdy defence opposite them and De la Fuente resorted to taking the ball into contact. Not a bad player but needs to find some creativity from somewhere.
- Matias Orlandi- 5
Orlandi suffered a similar fate to De la Fuente, with both centres struggling to fashion chances for their wingers. Argentina could really do with Marcelo Bosch, who is a smart centre with the ability to produce opportunities for players around him. A hard worker but uninspiring.
- Ramiro Moyano- 5
Struggled to make any dents in the Boks defence and lacks the out and out pace of the other wingers playing today. Saw little of the ball and couldn’t find a way into the game. Argentina need the x-factor of Santiago Cordero, Manuel Montero or better yet, Juan Imhoff.
- Joaquin Tuculet- 7
Brilliant work in the build up to the Landajo try and showed silky hands for the Boffeli try. His cultured left boot as well was a good tool for the Pumas. Reliable as ever and offers some sparkle from the back.
Max Hamid, Pundit Arena
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