South Africa will be looking for an improved performance when they meet Argentina in Salta in the Castle Lager Rugby Championship on Saturday. The Springboks have won their last three, and eight of their last nine Tests away from home. In 18 previous meetings Argentina have yet to defeat the South Africans and as expected, history and statistics are sided heavily against Los Pumas.
The Argentines have lost 12 of their 13 Rugby Championship Tests to date although three of their five matches against the Boks have been decided by seven points or less, including a draw in Mendoza in 2012. In fact six of those 12 defeats have been by seven or less. However when it goes the other way, all remaining seven fixtures were won by the opposition by at least 15 points.
Heyneke Meyer’s men have scored at least one try in each of their last 20 away Tests but encouragingly for coach Daniel Hourcade, his team managed five more defenders beaten (13) than South Africa (8) in their defeat at Loftus Versfield. Worryingly for Hourcade is that Los Pumas’ last home win over a tier one nation came against France in June 2012. That spells a disappointing run of 12 matches without a victory. Argentina have averaged 17 points scored in their last six home matches, scoring exactly 17 in four of them and have lost all six.
For the South Africans, Ruan Pienaar, who scored the only try of the first round last weekend, will earn his 78th cap and move clear as the ninth most-capped Springbok of all-time, moving ahead of Mark Andrews. The match the Ernesto Maltearena kicks off at 21:10.