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Tuesday Aug 11, 2015

Awesome Argentina upset sloppy Springboks for first time ever

Awesome Argentina upset sloppy Springboks for first time ever
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Juan Imhoff scored a hat-trick of tries as Argentina beat South Africa for the first time in 20 attempts, winning 37-25 in Durban. The win sees them earn big points in the World Rugby rankings, while South Africa drop down to the unfamiliar position of fifth.

Argentina were inspired by the presence of the 1965 Pumas, as they went on to outplay an error-prone Springbok side who suffered their fourth straight loss.

It’s the first time that the Springboks have gone through a Tri Nations or Rugby Championship campaign without a win, leaving them in a poor state with not long to go until RWC 2015.

“We need to give credit to Argentina, who outplayed us today,” said coach Heyneke Meyer.

“They delivered a great performance and deserved the win. They played a game that suited them and not us. We could not adapt and sadly, we were just not good enough today. We have let our country and our supporters down today with this unacceptable performance.

“We are a proud team, but you will lose sometimes. What we dished up in the first half was very poor. I apologise to the nation as the buck stops with me as coach. There are no excuses. I take responsibility and will work harder to rectify this before the Rugby World Cup.”

Meyer will not allow the poor campaign to halt his team’s progress going forward.

“This does not put us back for the Rugby World Cup. We are a much better team than this. We will be working even harder. I still believe we are in contention for the World Cup. We are getting a number of big ball carriers back soon and we will be better for it.”

The two sides meet again in Argentina this coming weekend, but the visitors will be without captain Jean de Villiers, who broke his jaw, Marcell Coetzee (knee injury) and Willie Le Roux (sprained ankle).

Imhoff became the first man in 124 years to score a hat-trick of tries against South Africa.

12 Comments

  •  eddie-g
    eddie-g
    5:28 PM 13/08/2015

    Money is always a factor. However, most of the top rugby schools in SA are state schools, and we're 20+ years beyond the reintegration of schools so getting black kids into these top schools is not the issue it once was. (and you certainly shouldn't believe that the intake at places like Paarl Boys High and Grey College is rich white kids, many of them come from modest backgrounds). At the same time, your average white family is still richer than your average black family, and is more likely to live in the catchment area for these top rugby schools. So it is still an issue, not as much as it used to be, but it's still there. The bigger issue, I think, and this is where I put on my sociology cap, is the following. Black South Africans have been told for centuries that they are inferior than whites. And if you put a mostly black team on the rugby field against a mostly white team of similar ability, the former freeze. I've seen it with my own eyes, it's absolutely jarring and you never forget. The nature of rugby, which is fundamentally about asserting physical domination, just means these kids get steam-rollered because of the psychological baggage of the last god-knows how many decades. There are surely other theories, but I'm in little doubt myself. The transformation agenda - the goal of which is to show that blacks and whites are equally capable of being top rugby players by creating black role-model players to aspire to - is supposed to help undo the damage. I actually think for the most part SARU has done a pretty decent job in this regard, it's just always on the agenda and there are inevitably people, mainly in the political space, who think you aren't moving fast enough. And every now and again, they make noise.

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg
    3:26 PM 13/08/2015

    Really interesting insight there Eddie, I appreciate the reply. I've heard many a joke that white Africans tell about righteous foreigners coming over with views of curing racism only to end up with worse views than anyone else because of how complicated everything is in SA. I also wonder (perhaps incorrectly) is there anyway that money comes into play? I can only assume that 'whites' on a whole are better off financially than 'blacks' in SA and that perhaps leads to schooling in the top rugby schools, whereas this isn't an option for less well off black families? Maybe I'm way out of touch here, it is just interesting to try and see how politics really can affect the game...

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg
    3:26 PM 13/08/2015

    Really interesting insight there Eddie, I appreciate the reply. I've heard many a joke that white Africans tell about righteous foreigners coming over with views of curing racism only to end up with worse views than anyone else because of how complicated everything is in SA. I also wonder (perhaps incorrectly) is there anyway that money comes into play? I can only assume that 'whites' on a whole are better off financially than 'blacks' in SA and that perhaps leads to schooling in the top rugby schools, whereas this isn't an option for less well off black families? Maybe I'm way out of touch here, it is just interesting to try and see how politics really can affect the game...

    Reply
  •  eddie-g
    eddie-g
    2:30 PM 13/08/2015

    PDV's comments were very disappointing. He latched onto two stupid facts - that Jesse Kriel played on the wing in place of Cornal Hendricks last weekend, and that Lionel Mapoe has not started any matches. The latter has been unluckily injured since the end of the Super Rugby season; and in the case of the former, Meyer, as he routinely does, explained the selection decision very clearly. He wanted to try Kriel on the wing to see if it was a position he could cover in the WC squad. Hendricks is his first choice wing, nothing changed there at all; the selections however are so driven by WC preparations and PDV really should know better. The other thing that happened is that one of the trade unions filed a complaint, apparently on behalf of black players in the squad regarding their treatment. At least one black player, Nyakane, has come out and said he had no idea about all this stuff. It's still unfortunately a sensitive matter, and playing a squad where only two starters are non-white is going to get noticed. People also may be piling on because losing three matches on the trot gives them additional leverage in criticising the coach. Anyway, I think the so-called "transformation" agenda is a good one. From personal experience, and aside from any moral considerations, it helps immensely developing the game if you have non-white Springboks. We can argue about how many, but we definitely need some. Your observation about soccer v rugby is sort of correct - in many parts of SA, soccer is the favourite sport of black South Africans. But in certain parts of SA - Eastern and Western Cape - rugby is far and away the favourite sport. As always, things are a bit complicated with this game we love, and whoever coaches the national team is navigating a political minefield, as well as trying to deliver on the goal of being the best team in the world. No other coach faces as challenging a job.

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg
    1:04 PM 13/08/2015

    ...clicked post by accident.. ..it seems to me that a lot of black Africans are very interested in football, they'll have a bit of national pride from the rugby side of things, but football is what they really appreciate... (an outsiders view here)... So I don't know whether they grow up dreaming of playing rugby as a professional? Whereas it seems ingrained in the white guys. Sad thing about comments like racism is the instability they create, attitude is half the battle on the pitch and if you feel 'entitled' to your position because you're a black guy, then will you have the right attitude? Or viceversa, guaranteed because you're white and 'coach is racist'.... I think it really waters down the sport for SA. Look at 'Beast', you think that guy has the attitude that he's making up the 'token black guy' numbers? Bloke looks like a steam train shooting round the pitch and I dare say his work rate as well as skill got him to where he is today.. I don't see enough domestic African rugby to know whether there are key players being missed out...

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg
    12:58 PM 13/08/2015

    Disappointing to read media reports of 'racist selections'... Especially when they incorporate comments from PDV the man who singlehandedly baffled the entire rugby universe with his hideous selection ideas.... I'd be interested to hear a local take on this matter? Got to be careful here

    Reply
  •  eddie-g
    eddie-g
    3:46 PM 12/08/2015

    I think the general view on Pollard's defence is that it is better this year, but it's still a channel that you'd attack when you play the Bokke. Anyway, Lambie's starting this weekend, might be his position to lose now. On the scrums, tighthead has been a worry for a while. Jannie du Plessis still has his skeptics, and his back-ups are inexperienced. So this weekend was another reminder that depth-wise, it isn't our strongest position.

    Reply
  •  welshosprey
    welshosprey
    7:35 PM 11/08/2015

    Argentina can really turn on the class sometimes. SA look really out of sorts heading into this world cup.

    Reply
  • 5:10 PM 11/08/2015

    Great Performance, a little bit of luck with referee decisions. I think that because of the up coming world cup, there was a lot of pressure with the SA players. You can see that in the transmission, each time a SA player made something wrong, the camera turn back to all the substitutes sitting outside playing the same position.

    Reply
  •  eddie-g
    eddie-g
    2:42 PM 11/08/2015

    Great game by Argentina. If anything the score-line flattered the Springboks, we were outplayed in every facet. I think the most frustrating thing from a SA fan viewpoint is after being very good and bit unlucky against Aus and NZ, it was a real let-down to see such an error-strewn performance. But the post-mortems have been illustrative and hopefully some good comes out of a chastening experience. The first thing that has been mentioned is that for the coming World Cup, the SA squad is training very hard with intensive conditioning, far more than they would normally in the week before an international. And they pretty much all admitted that it had left them a bit jaded and unable to lift their performance on Saturday. And to be fair to Meyer, he has insinuated all season that he'd much rather be playing friendlies than the rugby championship as WC preparation, so being flat going into this match was a known risk. The Bokke were also not happy with how Poite reffed the scrums and the breakdown, the latter especially was reffed quite differently to what they are used to with SH refs, but it's perhaps not a bad thing they learned these lessons now when they surely will have other NH refs taking charge at the WC. And lastly, a full strength Bok team should look a bit different, especially in the forward pack. When SA play well, it starts up front, and I'd back our best pack as a match for anyone. My biggest concern however is Pollard - he's still a raw talent, and I worry he'll be targeted and exposed, rather like Hernandez managed. He's also not as good a goal-kicker as I'd ideally like going into a WC. Maybe they'll turn back to Lambie, but it's a very big call that they are going to have to make.

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg
    2:30 PM 11/08/2015

    Watched as a neutral. I was glad to see JDV back on the field although he broke his jaw.... I thought that Argentinian try was unfair when the referee told the boks to have a word. Although that alone would not change the outcome of the match. Seems like the boks really struggled with their tighthead against the Argies, ruined their scrum platform! Burger copped a fair bit of abuse through the game, some pretty big high shots on him, I guess the tables turned a tad from what he used to do, but still not to great. Exciting game, congratulations to Argentina

    Reply
  •  djv
    djv
    2:19 PM 11/08/2015

    What a disgraceful display by the Boks. So many basic mistakes after a rather promising display against the All Blacks (despite the loss there too). Please please stop selecting Ruan Pienaar, I am sure he is not the best we have. Well done Argentina, you deserve this one!

    Reply


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