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Wednesday 8 February 2023 Dublin: 8°C
# Puma Power
Argentina shock the Boks in Durban to underline World Cup credentials
Many have predicted that Ireland will meet the Pumas in the World Cup quarter-finals.

ARGENTINA RECORDED A shock 37-25 victory over South Africa in the final round of the Rugby Championship to underline their quality ahead of the World Cup.

In doing so, the Pumas beat the Boks for the first time in a Test match.

South Africa Argentina Rugby Championship Associated Press Argentina celebrate their win in Durban. Associated Press

Daniel Hourcade’s men were excellent in Durban, scoring four tries to the Springboks’ three and ending the competition in style after defeats to Australia and New Zealand in recent weeks.

Racing 92′s Juan Imhoff scored a hat-trick, while centre Marcelo Bosch crossed for a try in the first minute and added a drop goal and one penalty. 11 points from out-half Juan Martín Hernández rounded out the scoring for the Pumas.

An awful first half from Heyneke Meyer’s Boks left them trailing 27-13 and a cheeky try from Juan Imhoff directly after the break only added to their uphill task. South Africa were unhappy with referee Romain Poite about that score as they felt he had indicated a stop to play.
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Indeed, the home crowd was driven to outrage by the French match official’s display, but Argentina’s victory was fully deserved.

The Pumas make up Pool C of the World Cup with New Zealand, Tonga, Georgia and Namibia. It’s widely expected that Hourcade’s side will emerge as the runners-up from that ground, potentially setting up a quarter-final meeting with Ireland.

Joe Schmidt’s men would have to top Pool D ahead of France, Italy, Canada and Romania for that to transpire, but any Irish observers of this display in Durban will know they cannot afford to underestimate the Pumas if they do meet in October.

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South Africa Argentina Rugby Championship Associated Press Marcelo Bosch was influential. Associated Press

For South Africa, this result makes it three defeats from three games in the 2015 Rugby Championship, with concerns spreading over the physical fitness of Meyer’s players after the Super Rugby season.

The Boks were in a winning position against Australia in round one only to fade, before they lost to a late New Zealand try in the second round.

South Africa face Argentina again next weekend in Buenos Aires as their World Cup preparations continue. The Springboks are part of Pool B alongside Samoa, Japan, Scotland and the US.

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