Argentina vs South Africa - Report - Rugby Championship 2018 - 10 Aug, 2019

Argentina vs South Africa - Report - Rugby Championship 2018 - 10 Aug, 2019

Argentina vs South Africa - Report - Rugby Championship 2018 - 10 Aug, 2019

"This is the last 80 minutes we will have before reaching Japan and then we have only one match there before playing New Zealand (on 21 September) so this match is very important to the campaign".

An early try from Mbonambi, who was driven over the Pumas line by the Springbok maul and Pollard's first with a break into space under the posts, gave South Africa a 24-13 halftime lead.

Their ruthless dismantling of the Pumas followed New Zealand's shock 47-26 loss to Australia, with Steve Hansen criticising his world champions for "dumb footy" in their heavy Perth defeat.

Springbok captain Siya Kolisi (L) passes the ball as he takes part in a training session at the Stade de France Stadium in Saint-Denis, north of Paris on 9 November 2018, on the eve of the worldwide rugby union test match against France.

"They train hard, they play hard and they want to win games and for all the work we do off the field it comes down to a Handré Pollard against a Richie Mo'unga or a Duane Vermeulen against a Kieran Read, and the players have taken that on".

"We play the best teams in the southern hemisphere so it's good to have this step up", Vermuelen said.

"We started the Rugby Championship working on executing our plans and in a way we are happy with our performance but there are still a few things to work on", he said.

It took the Pumas just 100 seconds to take the lead through a Santiago Cordero try on a clear, late southern hemisphere winter afternoon before a sell-out 22,190 crowd in the northwestern city.

They were made to pay in the 64th minute when Makazole Mapimpi crossed over in the corner to kill the contest.

Still, two more penalties from Pollard put the favourites back in front following another successful strike from Sanchez at the other end as Rassie Erasmus' men gradually ground their hosts down.

Argentina have struggled for some years in an aspect of the game where they used to be world class and there was no sign of any improvement in Salta.

Clinical South Africa scored further tries through Mapimpi and Cheslin Kolbe and Pollard converted both for an unexpectedly comfortable triumph.

The mood of many South Africans revolves around the success, or lack thereof, of the Boks and this Rugby Championship win will lift the optimism going into the global showpiece tournament in Japan.

The Springboks' progress slowed early in the second half when scrumhalf Faf de Klerk was sin-binned, only for Pollard to cross again.

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