Brilliant Boks stand stall as patchy Argentina are annihilated twice
After a stupendous showing to overcome the British & Irish Lions 2-1 in the recently concluded three match test series at the CapeTown Stadium, a determined South Africa marched with much confidence to lock horns with Argentina at the onset of The Rugby Championship.
The result, Los Pumas were annihilated twice in a home and away fixture albeit in South Africa only owing to COVID restrictions at The Nelson Mandela Bay stadium with a score line that read South Africa 32 – 12 Argentina in the first fixture and Argentina 9 – 29 South Africa in the second.
To say the Boks were clinical would be an understatement, as they hadn’t played competitive rugby post the World Cup final in 2019 almost two years to date and despite that, they came on top on five occasions in the six games contested this season including the South Africa A hurrah over the Lions.
Credit has to go to Head Coach, Jacques Nienaber and Director of Rugby, Rassie Erasmus for expanding the pool of players which paid dividend galore in the teams that the Boks have been able to field this season.
The depth in the Bok talent has been fantastic with the likes of Cobus Reinach replacing the injured Faf de Klerk at scrum-half and a new find in Jasper Weise who came in for Duane Vermeulen to make the number eight position his own.
Surely a star for the future once the stalwart of South African rugby decides to hangs up his boots.
Morne Steyn’s kicking abilities at 37 have also been as smooth as silk and what gives me immense confidence is to see Handre Pollard having able deputies in Elton Jantjies and Steyn in the fly-half position.
When dwelling on the depth in the Springbok reserves, how can one not talk about young Aphelele Fassi, who is considered one of the best full-backs in the country.
In his nascent career this season, the Sharks man has precisely shown why with the try he scored against the Los Pumas as he twice held on to the ball with one hand while under pressure before crossing the line. A performer second to none!
The icing on the cake one would reckon in this home season has been how every Springbok player has complemented his fellow team-mates with the only focus being on victory for the nation over individual gains.
Truth be told, the unity one has seen in this team is also testament to the Siya Kolisi’s leadership as through his stupendous performance in every game he has set a benchmark for his compatriots to follow.
Certainly, a breath of fresh air in a country that is still reeling from the self-inflicted wounds owing to political instability, rising unemployment and a dwindling economy.
An uncertain season ahead overshadows certainty in performance
As the season of The Rugby Championship moves ahead, the only certainty a Bok supporter is faced with is the outstanding performance that this team has shown.
Why do I say this?
Well, the Springboks and Argentina were to travel to Australia yesterday, albeit have not as the tournament has now gone into limbo due to New Zealand pulling out of their trip to Australia owing to a recent spike in the COVID cases.
While South Africa has put its hand up to host the remaining fixtures pending Government approval and Europe is also being looked at as an alternate, the decision on the future of The Rugby Championship solely rests on the better judgement of SANZAAR, The Southern Hemisphere Rugby Governing Body.
One can only hope the tournament continues as the performance the Boks have demonstrated this season certainly merits them winning this championship. Again!
Afterall they are playing their best rugby they have ever played in recent memory.
Go Bokke Go!
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