South Africa and Argentina clash in what is effectively a Rugby Championship wooden spoon contest in Durban on Saturday. Los Pumas are aiming for their first win against the Springboks having lost 18 and drawn one of their previous encounters to date. Heyneke Meyer’s men have failed to score more than one try in three of their last five Tests against Daniel Hourcade’s side, after scoring at least two in each of their 14 meetings before that (an average of 5.2).
The Boks have won five of their last six in Durban, including their last three in a row. They scored five tries in each of their last two games at the venue. The South Africans have lost their last three Tests and have not lost four on the bounce since 2010, however three of those defeats came at the hands of New Zealand.
They last lost four in a row against four different nations in 1964/65. Bryan Habana has scored five tries in nine games against the Argentines and no Springbok has scored more against the South Americans. Habana has also scored the second most tries at Kings Park with five in seven games.
The visitors (27) and hosts (40) rank last and second last for points scored in the competition so far despite boasting the two best goal-kicking success rates (South Africa -80%, Argentina -75%). The home side has averaged more successful tackles per game than any other team in the competition (149) but still boast the best tackling success rate (87%) while Hourcade’s team has made the fewest (85) and rank last for tackling success (78%). Meyer’s men have won the most turnovers in this year’s competition (19) and Argentina the fewest (9).
The Boks have the worst lineout success this year (83%) and are the only team yet to steal an opposition throw, while Los Pumas have the worst ball retention rate at the scrum in the competition thus far (75%). Daniel Hourcade’s side has scored just three points in the opening quarter of their two games this year – a competition low – while Heyneke Meyer’s men have conceded just three in that time, the joint-fewest in the tournament.
The South Africans are yet to score a single point in the final quarter of a game this year and have conceded more than any other team in that time (24). A fact that will give the South Americans much confidence if the match is tightly poised going into the last 20 minutes.
Statistics courtesy of Opta Index