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Argentina can expect another aerial assault

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South Africa national rugby team player Handré Pollard kicks a penalty against the British & Irish Lions. Picture: Phando Jikelo African News Agency (ANA)

The Springboks kicked a total of 40 times the first Test against Argentina, opposed to the 24 made by Los Pumas.

THE SPRINGBOKS will continue to live from hand to foot when they face Argentina in Saturday’s Rugby Championship match at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium (5.05pm).

Criticised for their aerial bombardment of the British and Irish Lions in their 2-1 series win, South Africa – despite making 10 changes to their team – continued their lug-aanvalle in last weekend’s 32-12 Championship opening win over the Pumas.

The Springboks kicked a total of 40 times that match, opposed to the 24 made by the Argies. Furthermore, coach Jacques Nienaber’s men made 144 tackles to the 99 made by their opponents.

In the first Test against the Lions, the Boks kicked the ball 38 times to the Lions’ 27, with 139 tackles made to 103.

The second Test stats read: 34 to 21 and 129 to 106 tackles made, while the third wasn’t any different with 19 kicks to 17 and 160 tackles to 83.

Skop en tackle, forcing the opponents into mistakes is the name of the game for the national team and it’s not going to change soon.

Pollard, who will team up with Cobus Reinach as halfbacks, explains: “Just about the criticism we’ve had about our style of play – it is what it is. Everybody’s got their own way of what they believe is the right way to play rugby.

“For us it’s not about entertaining, it’s about winning.

Broken

“Test match rugby is about winning and at the moment we are doing pretty well in that regard. So if it’s not broken, then why fix it?

“People can criticise as much as they want, we believe in it and that’s the only thing that matters.”

History backs the Boks against their visitors from South America, with SA only ever having lost three times against the Argies in 31 Tests.

With the All Blacks and the Wallabies having a bye this weekend, the Boks will look to skop themselves to victory and take the lead in this year’s Rugby Championship.

SPRINGBOKS v ARGENTINA

Springboks: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Jasper Wiese, 7 Franco Mostert, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Marvin Orie, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Trevor Nyakane. Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg, 20 Kwagga Smith, 21 Dan du Preez, 22 Jaden Hendrikse and 23 Damian Willemse.

Argentina: 15 Juan Cruz Mallia, 14 Ignacio Mendy, 13 Santiago Chocobares, 12 Jerónimo de la Fuente, 11 Santiago Carreras, 10 Domingo Miotti, 9 Gonzalo Bertranou, 8 Rodrigo Bruni, 7 Guido Petti, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Tomás Lavanini, 4 Matías Alemanno, 3 Francisco Gómez Kodela, 2 Julián Montoya (captain), 1 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro. Replacements: 16 Facundo Bosch, 17 Facundo Gigena, 18 Santiago Medrano, 19 Marcos Kremer, 20 Juan Martín Gonzalez Samsó, 21 Felipe Ezcurra, 22 Nicolás Sánchez and 23 Lucio Cinti.

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