Impact player Kitshoff knows importance of bench role

Steven Kitshoff (Gallo Images)
Steven Kitshoff (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - When Steven Kitshoff takes to the field in Saturday's Rugby Championship clash against Argentina in Mendoza, he will earn his 29th Test cap. 

Only two of those, though, have been starts. 

Now 26, Kitshoff is fully used to his role as a Bok substitute. 

The No 1 jersey still belongs to Tendai Mtawarira, who on Saturday will earn his 103rd Bok cap, seeing him go past Percy Montgomery as fifth-most capped Bok of all time.

Mtawarira has been in fine form throughout 2018 for both the Sharks and the Boks, though at the age of 33 his shifts are becoming shorter.

On Saturday at Kings Par, Mtawarira emptied the tank for 51 minutes in another dominant display in both the set piece and in open play. 

It means that Kitshoff's role off the bench is as important as Mtawarira's in the starting line-up.

"Coming from the bench it's important to make an impact, especially in those first five minutes to give the game some injection," he said, adding that he expected a massive battle against the Pumas on their own turf.

"I know Argentinean props are good scrummagers and I worked with them a lot when I was in France. It's always a good competition.

"They work hard and they've got a good scrum and they've always been one of the mnore physical sides to scrum against in world rugby. It's going to be a tactical, tough battle and we'll just have to be up for it."

Kick-off on Saturday is at 21:10 (SA time). 

Teams:

Argentina

15 Emiliano Boffelli, 14 Bautista Delguy, 13 Matias Moroni, 12 Bautista Ezcurra, 11 Ramiro Moyano, 10 Nicolas Sanchez, 9 Gonzalo Bertranou, 8 Javier Ortega Desio, 7 Marcos Kremer, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Tomas Lavanini, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Juan Figallo, 2 Agustin Creevy (captain), 1 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro.

Substitutes: 16 Facundo Bosch, 17 Santiago Garcia Botta, 18 Santiago Medrano, 19 Matias Alemanno, 20 Tomas Lezana, 21, Tomas Cubelli, 22 Jeronimo De La Fuente, 23 Juan Cruz Mallia

South Africa

15 Willie le Roux, 14 Makazole Mapimpi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Siya Kolisi (captain), 6 Francois Louw, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Tendai Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 RG Snyman, 20 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Lionel Mapoe, 23 Damian Willemse

 

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