After landing the Rugby Championship title the Springboks continue to prepare for the Rugby World Cup with a home fixture against Argentina in Pretoria on Saturday.
South Africa v Argentina, Saturday 17th August, Pretoria, KO 17:05 (South African time)
Weather Forecast – Pretoria
Referee: Luke Pearce (England)
Assistant Referees: Andrew Brace (Ireland) , Pierre Brousset (France)
TMO: Simon McDowell (Ireland)
This is the final home game before the World Cup for the Boks who's 46-13 victory in Argentina last week saw them clinch a first Rugby Championship title. South Africa conceded the first try but were well in control by half time at 24-13 and they never let go. Pollard had a memorable game, scoring 2 of his sides 5 tries as well as landing 3 conversions and 5 penalties.
Although it was a shortened Rugby Championship format South Africa will take plenty from it. They started with a 35-17 win over the Wallabies in Johannesburg and then salvaged a draw (16-16) from a clash with the All Blacks in Wellington.
The latest outright betting for the Rugby World Cup subsequently saw the Boks shorten in to 9/2 to lift the trophy with many bookmakers although 11/2 was still available with GG Gaming at the time of writing.
Loftus is the venue for this “farewell” test and with the exception of visits from the All Blacks, the Boks record in Pretoria is very strong. Since 1994 the Boks have lost 5 head to heads against New Zealand at this venue but every other visiting side has been beaten.
Los Pumas finished with the wooden spoon in the Rugby Championship after losing all 3 of their matches. They did push the All Blacks close in Buenos Aires, fighting back from 20-9 down at half time but coming up short in a 20-16 defeat and they were also beaten 16-10 by the Wallabies in Australia.
Overall Argentina have won 3, drawn 1 and lost 25 of the head to heads with the Boks. Those 3 victories for Los Pumas came in home fixtures in the Rugby Championship in 2016 and 2018 and they also won in Durban in 2015.
Argentina are generally a 40/1 chance to win the Rugby World Cup.
South Africa: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 André Esterhuizen, 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Marcell Coetzee, 7 Rynhardt Elstadt, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 RG Snyman, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Schalk Brits (c), 1 Thomas du Toit
Replacements: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Lizo Gqoboka, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 Marvin Orie, 20 Marco van Staden, 21 Kwagga Smith, 22 Faf de Klerk, 23 Frans Steyn
Argentina: 15 Joaquin Tuculet, 14 Sebastian Cancelliere, 13 Jeronimo de la Fuente, 12 Lucas Mensa, 11 Ramiro Moyano, 10 Joaquin Diaz Bonilla, 9 Felipe Ezcurra, 8 Javier Ortega Desio, 7 Marcos Kremer, 6 Pablo Matera (captain), 5 Tomas Lavanini, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Santiago Medrano, 2 Julian Montoya, 1 Mayco Vivas
Substitutes: 16 Agustin Creevy, 17 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 18 Juan Figallo, 19 Matias Alemanno, 20 Tomas Lezana, 21 Gonzalo Bertanou, 22 Benjamin Urdapilleta, 23 Santiago Carreras
Recent Head to Heads, (any venue)
2019 Salta Argentina 13-46 South Africa (Tries 1-5) (Rugby Championship)
2018 Mendoza Argentina 32-19 South Africa (Tries 4-3) (Rugby Championship)
2018 Durban South Africa 34-21 Argentina (Tries 6-3) (Rugby Championship)
2017 Salta Argentina 23-41 South Africa (Tries 2-5) (Rugby Championship)
2017 Port Elizabeth South Africa 37-15 Argentina (Tries 4-2) (Rugby Championship)
2016 Salta Argentina 26-24 South Africa (Tries 2-2) (Rugby Championship)
2016 Nelspruit South Africa 30-23 Argentina (Tries 3-2) (Rugby Championship)
2015 London South Africa 24-13 Argentina (Tries 2-1) (RWC 3rd Place Play Off)
2015 Buenos Aires Argentina 12-26 South Africa (Tries 0-2) (INT, RWC Warm Up)
2015 Durban South Africa 25-37 Argentina (Tries 3-4) (Rugby Championship)
Betting - Handicap
South Africa -17.5 points at 17/20 Sunbet
Argentina +19.5 points at 9/10 Hollywood
Note, odds quoted are a reflection of what was available at the time of the last update but are subject to change.
This looks a tough game to call due to team selections but I think Argentina may be able to take advantage of the fact that the Boks have some new combinations and stay close at least until the break.
I am going to take +9.5 about the visitors but will add a more aggressive points bet to this preview on Friday night assuming the lines are out.*
Bet: 2 units Argentina +9.5 HT cap at WSB
*The total points line is set at 58.5 and the bet I really like here is Argentina to score 19 points or more. Being a "friendly" I expect we may see an open game and even if the Boks pull well clear the Pumas could score a couple of consolations to land this one.
Bet: 5 units Argentina over 18.5 points at 17/20 at WSB
Unit Scale 1-10
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