Test # 2 Preview: South Africa vs. Argentina

South Africa and Argentina return to Nelson Mandela Bay for the second rugby championship clash this weekend.

2021 Argentina versus South Africa

Last week, the Springboks rode their proven strength play to a convincing win with their favorite 32-12 result, but the brave cougars will try to change things with a more measured and clinical performance.

Argentina has shown signs in recent years that it has had enough of the TRC doormat. In 2020 they took their first ever win against New Zealand, and two more games against Australia gave them optimism for a fourth ever win against South Africa. The Boks have closed that, so it’s back to the drawing board for coach Mario Ledesma and his squad.

An injury to main flanker Facundo Isa could lead to a reorganization of the Pumas team, with perhaps the brilliant Marcos Kremer moving from last week’s second row to the back row. The defensive line will be set up again from 10 am by veteran Nicolas Sanchez and the Pumas will be determined to tighten the screws and get rid of some of the sloppy games that didn’t give them a chance last week.

Check out a highlight of the first game between South Africa and Argentina:

There is good news and bad news in the South Africa lineup this week. Good for the Boks and bad for the Pumas. At the opening encounter last week there were big changes in the South African team after their exhausting exchange (for players and fans alike) with the British & Irish Lions in three games. What was almost a Bok-B team looked very comfortable to take on a 20 point win, and this week’s roster is back to practically full strength.

2021 Argentina versus South Africa

The entire backline that started the crucial third test against the Lions is back and should be freshened up after a week off. All-world wingers Cheslin Kolbe and Makazole Mapimpi will feast on showing off their stuff after the Lions series’ conservative fixtures kept them relatively calm. Executor Eben Etzebeth takes a break up front, but the Boks grow up with 300 pounds of Thomas du Toit and 260 pounds of Trevor Nyakane.

Argentina’s Pumas have made progress over the past few seasons, but it’s hard to imagine that it will go any other way than winning in South Africa. The Boks are on the move, they know who they are, and they feel comfortable with each other and in their style of play. I go with 32-12 Boks – why not get that score again?

Watch the full replay of the first game between the two teams:

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