Springboks hammer Argentina to win Rugby Championship title

South-Africa-Players

South African players attend a training session ahead of their Rugby Championship match against Argentina

The Springboks powered their way to an emphatic 46-13 bonus-point victory over Argentina to win the Rugby Championship title in Salta, Argentina, on Saturday when they ended their 2019 campaign undefeated.

The win means Springboks finished with 12 points with Australia finished at second with eight points followed by New Zealand at third with six points.

The Springboks last won a competition in 2009 when they finished first in the Tri Nations, the forerunner of the Rugby Championship.

Pollard dominated the match with 31 points, a tally that comprised two tries, five penalties and three conversions.

This year's tournament was abridged to three matches per team because of the World Cup in Japan starting on September 20.

'If you look at it, nothing has really changed at the top - we have the same structures, the same CEO, the same coaching structures, but the players have stepped up.

He added his fifth penalty of the match within a minute of the restart, yet Argentina were able to rally and mount a spell of pressure which led to South Africa scrum-half de Klerk being shown a yellow card following a string of penalties against the visitors close to their own line.

The nations meet again next Saturday, this time in Pretoria, in a warm-up worldwide for the World Cup.

"It's a fantastic feeling", said Duane Vermeulen, who captained the two-time world champions.

"But, yes, we are happy with where we are at the moment".

It took the Pumas just 100 seconds to take the lead through a Santiago Cordero try on a clear, late southern hemisphere winter afternoon before a sell-out 22,190 crowd in the northwestern city.

South Africa responded with Pollard's first penalty and a try by hooker Bongi Mbonambi from a concerted lineout drive.

Sanchez had fewer opportunities and made the a lot of them, slotting the two penalties to keep the Pumas in touch for most of the half.

They built their game sensibly, kicking penalties when there was little to separate the teams in points in the first half when Pollard slotted his first four penalties.

Argentina have struggled for some years in an aspect of the game where they used to be world class and there was no sign of any improvement in Salta.

Further scores from Makazole Mapimpi and Cheslin Kolbe rubbed salt into the wounds, South Africa running away with it to take the title for a fourth time in style.

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