A heavily changed Springbok side, fresh from beating the British and Irish Lions in Cape Town, got their Rugby Championship campaign off to a winning start as they beat Argentina 32-12 in Port Elizabeth. Here are our talking points from the clash.
Poor Damian Willemse game at full back
He is a very talented player, but this was one game Damian Willemse would like to forget in a hurry. Given the No.15 jersey- he had a disappointing game with knock ons, getting isolated and turned over, and even conceding penalties. Perhaps the poorest of the Springbok players on show. Is Aphelele Fassi a more natural option at 15 for the Boks?
Two fantastic tries for Aphelele Fassi vs Argentina
The rising Sharks star showcased some lovely handling skills to bag two tries here as he played on the wing. The first was particularly impressive as he latched on to a crossfield kick from Elton Jantjies, but the second wasn’t bad either. His aerial skills were also decent- is it time to give him a shot at full back?
Argentina struggle in the air
Argentina were very poor in the air and struggled to deal with the Springbok aerial bombardment all evening. It would’ve been noted as a matter of real concern for Los Pumas.
Jaden Hendrikse South Africa debut try wearing 25 jersey
Hendrikse was a late addition to the Springbok lineup after Herschel Jantjies withdrew and was given the No.25 jersey here. Scored a try on debut- the youngest player in the squad latching on to a pass from Morne Steyn (the oldest) after a nice run from Marco Van Staden.
Joseph Dweba debut at hooker
The former Cheetahs hooker’s face was full of emotion at national anthem time, and he gave a fairly good account of himself in a little over a half of rugby before being replaced by Malcolm Marx.
Here is the South Africa 23 vs Argentina for their 2021 Rugby Championship opener in Port Elizabeth. As expected, it’s changes galore for the Springboks after their successful win over the Lions. There is a Springbok test debut for Joseph Dweba at hooker and multiple changes in the backline where Cobus Reinach and Elton Jantjies will be paired at half back, Frans Steyn & Jesse Kriel at centre, Aphelele Fassi and Sbu Nkosi on the wings and Damian Willemse at full back.
The only pair constant from the 3rd Lions test is the locking one of Eben Etzebeth and Lood de Jager.
Here is a look at the official South Africa “A” side to take on the British and Irish Lions in Cape Town, and the Springboks have named a very strong team, potentially with the aim of giving some first XV regulars some valuable game time.
The side features Vincent Koch and Trevor Nyakane as props, Eben Etzebeth and Franco Mostert in the second row, and Marco Van Staden, Pieter Steph du Toit and Jasper Wiese as the loose trio. Veteran Morne Steyn has been named at 10 with the World Cup winning centre pair of Damian de Allende and Lukhanyo Am playing in midfield.
It’s not often that you see a provincial side take on the Lions twice, but that’s exactly what happened with the Natal Sharks over the weekend thanks to the ongoing Covid pandemic in South Africa. The BIL were originally due to play the Bulls in Pretoria, but Covid put paid to those plans and as a contingency plan, the Sharks were summoned to play the touring side again, just days after they had copped a 54-7 hammering.
The Sharks made several changes, including that of Lionel Cronje at 10 ahead of Curwin Bosch, whose defence had been very suspect.
To their credit, they put on an improved performance and capitalised on several Lions errors, with the likes of scrumhalf Jaden Hendrikse and full back Anthony Volmink all taking advantage as the two sides were tied 26-26 at the break.
However a brainfade from Hendrikse saw him red carded early in the second half by Wayne Barnes, and with that red card went any chances of the Sharks getting something from the game. Continue reading “Sharks 31-71 British and Irish Lions | Hendrikse red card spoils evening for Natal”