Boks aim to tame Pumas

2014-08-16 00:00

Marcelo Bosch (13) vs Damian de Allende(13):

Marcelo Bosch (13):

The Saracens centre has been a key figure for the English club and is a solid all-round performer. Bosch is tough on defence and his attacking game is worth noting. A naturally strong runner, the Pumas will use him to punch holes in the Bok defence. Bosch also has great feet and is fast, especially on the breakout. He has spent a lot of time at flyhalf and is an accomplished kicker, making him a complete package. He could make things difficult for debutant Damian de Allende.

Damian de Allende(13):

De Allende has been backed by Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer to start for his first international cap. He should be settled playing outside Jean de Villiers but there will no doubt be some nerves. However, the Western Province centre is powerfully built and boasts some impressive speed, especially off the mark. He is also fairly agile and can beat defenders in one-on-one situations. De Allende is not shy on defence but he will have to be alert out wide, especially against the Argentine outside backs.

Juan Martin Hernandez (12) vs Jean de Villiers (12):

Juan Martin Hernandez (12):

One of the most naturally-gifted players in World rugby, Hernandez has been chosen at inside centre. He will be used an a kicking option to take the pressure of flyhalf Nicolas Sanchez. Hernandez is a fleet-footed player and has great distribution skills. He will have a busy day in the inside channels as the Boks will no doubt be quite direct in their approach. He also comes up against a fit-again Jean de Villiers, who is abrasive on attack but also knows when to unleash his outside backs. Hernandez will have to be sharp but has some quality players around him to put into space.

Jean de Villiers (12):

The Springbok captain makes his return to the side after a long injury layoff. Rated as one of the best in the world, De Villiers always seems to perform in the Bok jersey. He is often used an option to carry the ball up but keep an eye out for some nifty passes, as the Bok backline has been full of running this year. De Villiers will also play a big part guiding De Allende through his debut. The pair should be settled having played plenty of Currie Cup and Super Rugby together, albeit with De Villiers usually at 13. The battle between the 12s will be an

intriguing one.

Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe (7) vs Willem Alberts (7):

Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe (7)

The ex-Argentina captain is arguably his team’s greatest asset. As hard a customer as they come, Fernandez Lobbe is a strong ball-carrier but he is especially good at pilfering ball at the breakdown. During the week he spoke about the importance of competing at the breakdown, an area he believes the Pumas can contest. They proved difficult in this area last year when the Boks visited Mendoza. Expect him to lead the charge, as the Pumas try to nullify a big, strong and physical Bok pack.

Willem Alberts (7):

The “Bone Collector” has to step up to the plate this weekend as the Pumas will come out firing. Never one to shy away from contact, Alberts will be used as a primary carrier to get over the advantage line. He hasn’t been at his bone-clattering best of late and his coach will be looking for some urgency and a high work rate from him. It will be an interesting battle between Alberts and Fernandez Lobbe. They have a similar style but their physicality is key for their teams. Expect some big collisions between the flanks.

Horacio Agulla (14) vs Bryan Habana (11):

Horacio Agulla (14):

Agulla has been a consistent player for the Pumas in recent years. The pacey wing came onto the international scene back in 2005 and was a standout performer in the 2007 World Cup. He plays club rugby for Bath and is always exciting to watch. He is up against Bryan Habana in what will be an exciting clash. Agulla is a danger on attack and is deceptively fast. He is also a physical player who ranges around the park. With 51 caps for his country, he is one of the most experienced players.

Bryan Habana (11):

Habana has enjoyed a good season with French club Toulon as well as the Springboks. The wing will earn his 98th cap this weekend and will have a big role to play for the Boks. Argentina have a good kicking game and Habana might find himself returning a lot of kicks. Alongside Willie le Roux and Cornal Hendricks, Habana completes a formidable back three that ran riot in the June internationals. He will score his 55th try if he crosses the whitewash this weekend.

Marcos Ayerza vs Jannie du Plessis (3):

Marcos Ayerza (1):

The Argentine prop is considered a specialist loosehead. He is a stalwart for English club Leicester Tigers and is renowned for his strong scrummaging. He is up against Jannie du Plessis, who is no slouch. The battle in the front row will be great to watch and even more difficult to call. Argentina pride themselves on a strong set piece and will look to upset a very experienced Bok front row. Ayerza is also handy in the tight loose and carries the ball well. He will need to perform well against a physical Bok side.

Jannie du Plessis (3):

The good doctor has had a good season for the Sharks and has greatly improved his discipline and defence. Du Plessis’s staple is scrumming and he faces a big battle against Ayerza. The Boks will fancy their scrum after some hard work in the past two weeks. Alongside his brother Bismarck and Beast Mtawarira, the Bok trio will further their record to 16 Tests as a front-row pairing for South Africa. Du Plessis will be looking for a big performance but he is still one of the most experienced tightheads in the country.


Springboks: Willie le Roux, Cornal Hendricks, Damian de Allende, Jean de Villiers (c), Bryan Habana, Handre Pollard, Ruan Pienaar, Duane Vermeulen, Willem Alberts, Francois Louw, Lood de Jager, Bakkies Botha, Jannie du Plessis, Bismarck du Plessis, Tendai Mtawarira. Replacements: Adriaan Strauss, Trevor Nyakane, Frans Malherbe, Eben Etzebeth, Marcell Coetzee, Francois Hougaard, Morne Steyn, Jan Serfontein.

Argentina: Joaquin Tuculet, Horacio Agulla, Marcelo Bosch, Juan Martin Hernandez, Manuel Montero, Nicolas Sanchez, Martin Landajo, Juan Manuel Leguizamon, Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe, Paul Matera, Thomas Lavanini, Mariano Galarza, Ramiro Herrera Agustin Creevy (c), Marcos Ayerza. Replacements: Matias Cortese, Paz Lucas Noguera, Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, Matias Alemanno, Leonardo Senatore, Thomas Cubelli, Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias, Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino.

Kick off: 5 pm SuperSport 1 from 4 pm.

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