South Africa claim Rugby Championship title with win over Argentina

Ruben Hill
Августа 11, 2019

Handre Pollard played a starring role as South Africa claimed the 2019 Rugby Championship with a 46-13 win away to Argentina.

Flyhalf Pollard scored two of his side's five tries and kicked five penalties and three conversions for a personal haul of 31 points, his best in an worldwide.

Argentina winger Santiago Cordero shocked the South Africans by going over in the corner in the second minute in Salta but hooker Mbongeni Mbonambi put the visitors 8-7 ahead after 13 minutes after a driving maul.

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.

The lead continued to change hands as Nicolas Sanchez and Pollard traded penalties but the latter then touched down to give South Africa a 24-13 lead at the interval.

For much of the opening half it seemed the Springboks might squander their huge volume of possession, just as they did in the 16-16 draw with New Zealand in their previous match.

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.

They had already sewn up the title before kickoff, after the All Blacks picked up no championship points in their 47-26 humbling by the Wallabies in Perth on Saturday night.

Argentina battled gamely after this, but a move which was started and finished by winger Makazole Mapimpi with around a quarter of an hour killed off any hopes the Pumas had of mounting a fightback.

"It's a fantastic feeling", captain Duane Vermuelen said.

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