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South Africa vs Argentina LIVE: Rugby Championship result and reaction as Springboks hold off Pumas

South Africa 22-21 Argentina: The Springboks withstood waves of pressure from the visitors to sign off the Rugby Championship with a home win

Harry Latham-Coyle
Saturday 29 July 2023 18:39 BST

Flyhalf Manie Libbok scored a breakaway try against the run of play to secure South Africa a bruising 22-21 victory over Argentina and earn a second-place finish in the Rugby Championship at Ellis Park on Saturday.

The Springboks had to withstand heavy Argentine pressure, some of their own making through poor execution, but managed to grind out the win as they also scored tries through lock Eben Etzebeth and centre Damian de Allende.

Argentina were in the contest all the way but battled to break down the resolute home defence and got tries late on through wing Mateo Carreras and replacement Gonzalo Bertranou as the visitors pushed for what would have been a first ever win in Johannesburg.

New Zealand claimed the Rugby Championship trophy earlier on Saturday with a comprehensive 38-7 victory over Australia in Melbourne but the Boks’ victory sees them end second, with Argentina in third.

Follow live updates from South Africa vs Argentina in the final round of the Rugby Championship below


South Africa squeak past Argentina to seal second spot in Rugby Championship

And next weekend is one to whet any rugby lover’s appetite, Argentina’s clash with South Africa an evening treat at the end of a Saturday of feasting. Bledisloe II gets it all going, with Australia out for revenge against New Zealand in Dunedin, before the Summer Nations Series kicks off in earnest, with Wales’s clash with England in Cardiff perhaps the pick of the games two days before Steve Borthwick names his World Cup squad. Scotland-France should be fun, too, while Italy will look to bounce back from defeat at Murrayfield earlier against Ireland.

It’s getting serious now with the World Cup little more than a month away.

When and where is the 2023 Rugby World Cup?

Everything you need to know ahead of the men’s tournament

Harry Latham-Coyle29 July 2023 18:39

FT: South Africa 22-21 Argentina

These two meet again next week in Buenos Aires. It should be a special, celebratory occasion, with Agustin Creevy presumably brought back into the Pumas matchday squad to win a 100th cap. He’ll be the country’s first rugby centurion - that should be some atmosphere in the Argentine capital.

Harry Latham-Coyle29 July 2023 18:33

FT: South Africa 22-21 Argentina

Rough edges for Argentina to polish, too, but Michael Cheika’s side were stout of heart and body throughout. There were glimpes late on of the sort of free flowing fun that Cheika would have wanted from an attacking backline selection - plenty of options for the Australian to sort through as he tries to narrow down his World Cup selection.

Best wishes to Grant Williams and Lucas Paulos, who departed in the first half on stretchers after serious head knocks. Let’s hope for a speedy recovery for both men.

Harry Latham-Coyle29 July 2023 18:30

FT: South Africa 22-21 Argentina

South Africa take second spot in the 2023 Rugby Championship standings, with New Zealand’s threepeat confirmed earlier by the All Blacks win over Australia. It’s tough to know what Jacques Nienaber will take from a scratchy home showing, his forwards not able to exert consistent pressure in the way that the Springboks head coach might have hoped. His defensive structures looked back to somewhere near their best, though, and there’s still more to come from this South African side, not least with a couple of key men still to come back in.

Harry Latham-Coyle29 July 2023 18:28

FT: South Africa 22-21 Argentina

A right old tussle in Johannesburg, sloppy and scrappy at times but the physicality never relenting. Argentina will reflect on what might have been, a few feet away from another famous win on the road, but left with too much to do in the final moments.

South Africa won’t be particularly pleased with their showing, their second half scoreless bar a breakaway score having gathered a bouncing ball, but the Springboks will take the win as they set off on their travels, hoping that their final destination is a late October Stade de France soirée.

Harry Latham-Coyle29 July 2023 18:23


(Getty Images)
Harry Latham-Coyle29 July 2023 18:16

TRY! South Africa 22-21 ARGENTINA (Gonzalo Bertranou try, 83 minutes)

Too little, too late for victory - but Argentina take a losing bonus point at the death!

South Africa’s fringe defence is finally breached, Faf de Klerk left isolated and beaten comprehensively by his opposite number’s sharp sniping. Santiago Carreras’s right boot has the final word - but it’s the home crowd doing the shouting, their Springboks having just, just about held on.

Harry Latham-Coyle29 July 2023 18:14

South Africa 22-14 Argentina, 82 minutes

Santiago Carreras’s dynamite feet are on show as the fly-half flits through a hole, but South Africa manage to hold the Argentina forward carriers up. Back for a penalty, granting Argentina another chance.

Harry Latham-Coyle29 July 2023 18:14

South Africa 22-14 Argentina, 80 minutes

Faf de Klerk makes a nuisance of himself, perhaps fortunate that an early tackle of replacement number eight Facundo Isa is not picked up by the officials. But the clock is dead as Argentina feed another scrum, the siren sounding to confirm the Pumas’ defeat - but there might still be time for a consolation.

Harry Latham-Coyle29 July 2023 18:12

South Africa 22-14 Argentina, 79 minutes

The scrum is unstable, which suits South Africa fine. 50 more seconds tick off the clock, which is probably just enough to seal the Springboks’ victory.

Harry Latham-Coyle29 July 2023 18:11

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