South Africa claimed third place in the Rugby World Cup with a convincing win over Argentina, defeating the Pumas 24-13 on the eve of the Rugby World Cup final.
The Springboks were in control on the scoreboard for most of the match and it was only in the last play of the game that Argentina managed to score a try and convert, avoiding what would’ve been an 18-point defeat.
The Boks made the first score in the sixth minute with a try through JP Pietersen – converted by Handre Pollard – and went on to lead throughout the match, picking up three penalties to lead 16-0 at half time.
The Pumas found a drop goal in the 42nd minute, but a try from Eben Etzebeth for the Boks just moments later widened South Africa’s lead.
South Africa were out to a 24-3 advantage in the 48th minute after another penalty but didn’t score for the rest of the match as a penalty and a last-minute try through Juan Pablo Orlandi and conversion from Nicolas Sanchez saw them bring the final margin in to 11 points.
South Africa 24
An exhilarating spectacle is sure to ensue when the South Africa and Argentina face-off for the bronze at the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Join The Roar from 7:00am (AEDT) for live scores and coverage.
Even though the Wallabies and All-Blacks will be fighting for ‘Bill’, there is no doubt that the Springboks and Pumas were unlucky not to find themselves in the same position.
Both teams pushed hard in the respective semi-final matchups, but will have to settle for a third-place playoff and pride to cap off what has been a wonderful World Cup.
Argentina will head into the game with coach Daniel Hourcade making nine changes to the team that suffered a 29-15 loss to Australia only a week earlier.
Having repeatedly shown their ability to spread the ball, along with their renowned scrimmaging skills, the Pumas will no doubt struggle to beat an in-form South African side without numerous key players.
Centres Juan Martin Hernandez and Marcelo Bosch, captain Augustin Creevy, Juan Imhoff and Joaquin Tuculet will all be missing.
On the plus side, Horacio Agulla and Juan Manuel Leguizamon return in time to steady the ship and provide some much needed experience to the team.
For the South Africans, Heyneke Meyer has only made two changes to the side that lost a tight affair against New Zealand in the semi-finals.
Victor Matfield re-enters the side as captain for his final international game, replacing Lodewyke de Jager who drops back to the bench, whilst Ruan Pienaar takes over from Fourie du Preez at scrumhalf.
In the Rugby Championship earlier this year, victories were one apiece. Argentina won a high-scoring affair 37-25 in Durban, and then the result was flipped in Buenos Aires with the Springboks triumphing 26-12.
This match has the possibility to go down to the wire. Both teams will play with pride, but it may be too much to overcome for the Argentineans thanks to a string of injuries.
South Africa by 20