Bet: Argentina +15.5
South Africa were full of confidence in the June Test Matches. They won the series against England 2-1. The meetings were particularly spectacular. In the first game, for example, the English led 27-3 before being overthrown and they lost 42-39!
Two men were particularly precious during this series. The lock, RG Snyman, was very valuable. Important in touch, he defended very well and ball in hand, he beat many defender. The other great man in this series was No. 8, Duane Vermeulen. But, these two players will be absent against Argentina. And these are not the only forfeits. Franco Mostert, Damien De Allende, Lood de Jager, Jesse Kriel, Wilco Louw, Sikelel Nkosi, Cyle Brink and Elton Jantjies will all miss this event.
The backline is therefore very weakened. Makazole Mapimpi and Aphiwe Dyantyi are not known to be great defenders. The centre pair Lukhanyo Am – André Esterhuizen lack complementarity. A powerful back row like Vermeulen is also missing. At the right of the scrum, in Wilco Louw’s absence, Frans Malherbe will start. The Stormers’ player is a far cry from the regular starting line-up.
Following the catastrophic Match Test in June, Daniel Hourcade was fired by the federation. He has been replaced by Mario Ledesma. The latter has shown all his qualities as a technician lately. He was the first to take the Jaguares to the quarter-finals of Super Rugby!
The Argentines had let go of their former coach in June by losing largely to Scotland’s B team (15-44) and Wales’ B team (10-23 then 12-30). The Argentina team is very good. It is composed almost essentially of Jaguares players. Saracens’ prop, Juan Figallo, is the only player not in the Argentine franchise to start with Pumas. Only Matias Orlando and Jéronimo De La Fuente are missing.
South Africa is weakened in relation to its real potential. Some players are at rest, others are injured. Figallo’s return to the national team will do Argentina a lot to improve the team. At front, it’s 50/50. The only difference between the two teams is in the pair of halves. I’m expecting a tight but lively game. I see Argentina with handicap. Right handicap : +12.5.