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Monday, August 19, 2013

The Springboks demolish Argentina in Soweto try-fest

The Springboks started their Rugby Championship campaign with a nine try demolition of Argentina, winning 73-13 in Soweto. They now look ahead to the rematch, where Argentina will be hoping to bounce back in front of their home crowd in Mendoza.

It took a while to get going but after a comfortable 26-6 lead at the break, South Africa hit their straps and powered to an easy win, scoring seven tries in the second half.

Flyhalf Morne Steyn scored 28 points and kicked 12 from 13 attempts at goal, while tries were scored by JJ Engelbrecht, Jean De Villiers, Bryan Habana, Fourie Du Preez, Adriaan Strauss, Willem Alberts, Duane Vermeulen and Bismarck Du Plessis.

There was also a penalty try and two yellow cards, one for a tip-tackle on Engelbrecht.

Captain De Villiers said that there are still elements that need to be worked on, while Argentina's Felipe Contepomi, who scored a consolation try for his team, said that they will not make excuses.

"We are very grateful that we are in this tournament. For us every game is a learning curve. Today is very tough to swallow and I hope we come stronger for next week.

"We need to keep growing. We know we are playing against the three best teams in the world. So for us it's a great, great challenge and I hope that next week we are better than today," he said.

Despite Argentina not having won a match in the tournament in seven attempts, De Villiers says that they will be a different side in front of their fans next weekend.

"They'll be hurting going back home, losing by such a margin. We have to enjoy this win because it doesn't come around very often. We have to start all over again because the beauty of this game is that seven days can be a very long time."

Fourie Du Preez, who made his return on Saturday, is unavailable for the away legs of the tournament so coach Heyneke Meyer has brought in Piet Van Zyl, while tighthead prop Lourens Adriaanse comes in for Trevor Nyakane, who was dropped for repeated breaches of team protocol.

Marcell Coetzee and Jano Vermaak also join the squad, while Chilliboy Ralepelle has been ruled out of the tour after having injured his back in a gym session on Saturday morning.

Can Argentina can bounce back from this, or are the Springboks looking too strong at the moment?

Posted by Rugbydump at 7:57 am | View Comments (25)

Posted in The Rugby Championship

Viewing 25 comments

Juan August 19, 2013 9:18 am

Argentina got good players, but they need to be more regular. But the big problem is the coach. Phelan has no experience at all and the only reason he is where he is today is because he has good contacts in the Union. His coach experience is U20 from his amateur club CASI, that´s all, he never even played professional rugby. Since he started as coach the Pumas has been dropping down positions in the ranking and the scrum was left behind. He should step a side and leave place for a professional coach.

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lg adf August 20, 2013 2:45 pm

No tenes idea de lo que hablas ademas de que phelan jugó un montón de años en los pumas, esta haciendo un buen trabajo como coach. Mira como nos fue el año pasado... Ademas el ranking baja porque estamos jugando muchos partidos con equipos mas fuertes que los pumas (lo cual esta perfecto) y cada vez que perdemos baja el ranking, en cambio los equipos que están mas abajo que nosotros ganan partidos fáciles.

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Charly2us August 22, 2013 8:58 pm

Sure.. you are right Phelan is a great coach. for your mentality.. the more they play.. the more they loose... he is doing an excellent job!!

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Chris August 19, 2013 9:46 am

Don't think the next test will be quite as bad for a few reasons: South Africa will play different players now knowing they can still get the win, Argentina will probably get a smack this week in preparation for the match and South Africa are probably going to be a bit complacent going into this (happens to everyone).
73-13 maybe flattered them a tad, a lot of intent in their defence went after 50 points. Still a complete demolition though. Immensely impressive.

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Wasps2207 August 19, 2013 11:55 am

How is the dump tackle a yellow card?! Lands on his side, not his neck and is held the whole way down. I know it's all down to interpretation, but if you ask me it was a great hit.

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Computer says no August 19, 2013 12:29 pm

It's not down to interpretation. If you lift the players feet above his head in a tackle you will be yellow carded at the very least. That's the rule and this was quite clearly the case so the yellow was appropriate.

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Wasps2207 August 20, 2013 11:32 am

The tackle area's clearly difficult to gain clarity in, there are more and more tackles these days which players on both sides are unsure of their legality or not. Eg:

I agree that the law may state otherwise to my argument, but it's still very patchy and not fully understood by all referees and players.

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Ali Dean August 19, 2013 12:01 pm

I don't think that the tackle was a yellow. I didn't see hips go above head, only the feet and he was controlled all the way down and didn't land on his head but his shoulder.
Great dump. Didn't deserve a yellow.

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suntzu August 19, 2013 10:23 pm

From the moment your upper torso hits the ground first it will be deemed illegal.and hips horizontal and legs/feet above the waist line will be considered a tip tackle and therefore sanctioned by a card. That's just the way it is. You have to imagine that the law makers are trying to set up laws that can be applied to pros as well as amateurs. If an amateur did the same tackle it would be far more dangerous hence the rationale behind trying to eradicate this type of tackle... Lots of people think it takes stuff away from the game - maybe so - but it's the direction that it's going. Hope this clarified a little

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finedisregard August 19, 2013 1:45 pm

I hate watching the Argies lose their own scrum.

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brawnybalboa August 19, 2013 2:06 pm

It is a shame to see that Argentina have not been more competitive of late. If you take the Rugby championship out of the equation

Here are Argentina's last 7 games:
Argentina 10 - 49 France 39 Point loss (record losing margin & points conceded)
Wales 12 - 26 Argentina 14 Point win
France 39 - 22 Argentina 17 Point loss
Ireland 46 - 24 Argentina 22 Point loss (record losing margin & points conceded)
Argentina 3 - 32 England 29 Point loss
Argentina 26 - 51 England 25 Point loss (record points conceded)
South Africa 73 - 13 Argentina 60 Point loss (record losing margin)

It does not paint a pretty picture.

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joeythelemur August 19, 2013 3:38 pm

Couple comments...

Argies didn't seem to contest the breakdown much. Springboks really looked like they were getting quick ball and being clinical with it. Add to that their driving mauls and it's not a surprise that Los Pumas couldn't hang with them.

Du Preez has gotten a bit thin on top since the last time I saw him!

For me, this is the first rugby match where the vuvuzelas were a major distraction/annoyance. Perhaps I just haven't noticed before? Is it a Soweto thing more than the rest of the country? Would be disappointed if those things became standard stadium fare for SA rugby.

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Rugbydump August 19, 2013 6:27 pm

The football/soccer team (Bafana Bafana) played two hours before, at the same venue. It was a sport and recreation day in honour of Nelson Mandela, so a lot of the football fans stayed, hence the excessive vuvuzela'ing. Great atmosphere and occasion.

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FoXtroT August 19, 2013 6:31 pm

Just to add to that; in rugby only games in SA vuvuzelas are banned.

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joeythelemur August 20, 2013 5:55 pm

Thanks for the clarification! Makes much more sense now.

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Rukhage August 19, 2013 4:23 pm

As an argentine it was terribly embarrassing to watch this game. Completely out of form and we practically looked like the minnows we were in the mid 90's. There are no excuses, the Boks played hard and simple and we were all over the place. Some point to the coaching staff for lack of experience, others point to the complacency of some players that get called up only due to their former glory (2007 squad members) and others point at the lack of development in the heartland and putting business interests ahead of actual team necessities.

Bottom-line, we need to shape the f**k up or else we will be kicked out of the tournament and with good reason.

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Kettlerugby August 19, 2013 4:44 pm

Not a yellow card in my opinion...penalty at most.

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Eddie-g August 19, 2013 5:55 pm

I guess the question is, was this a case of a very poor Argentina side, or a particularly strong Springbok side? Maybe both, I hope very much it is more the latter.

Special mention though for Adriaan Strauss. He's been playing great rugby for a while, but after this weekend I no longer think Bismarck is peerless.

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newfie August 19, 2013 6:04 pm

people need to stop complaining about the yellow card, its clearly stated in the law that you cannot lift a players feet above his head it doesnt matter if he lands on his head, his ass or his back, its all defined clearly in the new laws as a yellow card.

Boks wont be as strong and argentina will come out firing at home, should be a good one to watch

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stroudos August 20, 2013 7:08 am

Incorrect. The directive allowed for a penalty (without card) to be awarded.

From the IRB:
Law 10.4(j) reads: Lifting a player from the ground and dropping or driving that player into the ground whilst that player’s feet are still off the ground such that the player’s head and/or upper body come into contact with the ground is dangerous play.

A directive was issued to all Unions and Match Officials in 2009 emphasizing the IRB’s zero-tolerance stance towards dangerous tackles and reiterating the following instructions for referees:

- The player is lifted and then forced or ‘speared’ into the ground (red card offence)

- The lifted player is dropped to the ground from a height with no regard to the player’s safety (red card offence)

- For all other types of dangerous lifting tackles a yellow card or penalty may be considered sufficient

Clearly this tackle fits in the third category. Where the directive is not clear is when to issue a yellow card or just the penalty. More often than not, (this case a perfect example), innocuous tackles are yellow carded where a penalty would have easily been sufficient.

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Juggernauter August 19, 2013 8:13 pm

I think it all came down to the attitude which each team faced the game with. South Africa were building on a second year under Meyer, a pretty pragmatic coach, and were on the back of three straigh wins against Italy, Scotland and Samoa in June, whereas The Pumas were rebuilding after being well beaten twice against England on home soil, and these self confidence issues started to show after they lost Fernandez Lobbe before the match and Albacete and Hernandez during the 1st half.

I think Phelan and Turnes haven't been up to the task, and has kept calling players based on their 2007 performances (think Leguizamon). Also Imhoff is an attacking gem but can't tackle a dummy, and Felipe Contepomi, extraordinary player that he was, can't keep carrying all the weight on his shoulders. There are plenty of very good Pumitas (U20s) coming in (Matera, Poet, Ramiro Moyano, de la Vega, Diaz and many others) and should be allowed to populate the team after the Championship, as Argentina is really an ageing team.

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Juggernauter August 19, 2013 8:40 pm

Forgot to mention Cordero and Lavanini, two very good youngsters!

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Wim August 22, 2013 12:50 pm

Credit to the photographer... That's my photo you used in the post.

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ti August 23, 2013 3:14 am

El ranking no baja porque tengamos mas partidos, en el puntaje no tiene que ver la cantidad de partidos que juegues en un año si no la diferencia de puntos en el ranking irb entre los dos equipos que se enfrentan y tambien si es favorito, local o visitante. Definitivamente el ranking baja porque en los ultimos años a pesar de que la era phelan se encuentra en un periodo de transicion y de recambio de jugadores, los pumas han perdido la mayoria de sus encuentros y si ganaron, fue por poca diferencia de puntos lo cual tambien suma en el ranking. El sistema de puntaje de la irb esta armado de tal manera que la cantidad de partidos no afecten a la determinacion de los puntos, si no seria injusto para los paises mas chicos. Phelan en mi opinion no tiene el curriculum para manejar a un equipo que esta buscando estar entre los 4 mejores, no basta con solo ser un buen jugador de rugby para poder entrenar, podras saber mucho, pero al final no son los entrenadores los que juegan en la cancha. Argentina tienen muy buen plantel y se esta adaptando a una mayor exigencia anual y ademas a un nuevo plan de juego al cual aposto phelan este ultimo año. No creo que phelan lleve a los pumas a su mejor version pero tuvo decisiones que pueden ser respetadas y el mismo respeta manteniendo un plan a lo largo de los años. Quizas es tiempo de recambio en el staff argentino.

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tj August 23, 2013 3:39 am

The ranking doesn't come down because we have more games, when determining points is not about how many games you play in a year but the difference of irb ranking points between the two teams faced and also if favorite local or visitor. Definitely the ranking comes down because in the last few years, despite the era phelan is in a period of transition and turnover of players, the pumas have lost most of their games and if they won, it was for little difference of points which also influences in the ranking. The scoring system of the irb is armed so that the number of matches doesn't affect the determination of the points, if not, it would be unfair to other countries with less protagonism. Phelan in my opinion don't have the curriculum to manage a team that is looking to be in the top 4, is not enough to just be a good rugby player to coach, you can have the knowledge, but in the end are the players who play on the field. Argentina have very good squad and is adapting to higher annual requirement and also, to a new game plan which phelan wagered the last year. I do not think phelan take the pumas to their best version but had decisions that can be respected like supporting a determined game-plan over the years. Maybe it's time for a change in the Argentine staff. Sorry for my bad english.

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