The Rugby Championship gets started this weekend, as the four elite nations in the Southern Hemisphere do battle. Argentina are yet to win the Rugby Championship in its current format, and have finished fourth on the last four occasions.
Rugby Championship Preview
After a return to the Tri-Nations for a one-off in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic, the Rugby Championship returns this year. South Africa won the last tournament in the current format, as they were crowned champions in 2020. There is no denying that confidence within the South African camp is going to be sky high coming into the tournament this year, as they recently came out on top in their series against the British & Irish Lions.
South Africa needed to use all their experience in that test, as they needed to come back from 1-0 down. On the opening display in the series, South Africa looked way below the performance level that they were at when winning the World Cup in 2019. However, the winning mentality came through ultimately, as they won the next two matches. They levelled the series with a 27-9 win in the second game, before claiming a dramatic win in the third and final test.
There was a sense of déjà vu about the third and final win for the South Africans, as the same man that kicked the nation to glory 12 years ago did the same again. Morne Steyn came off the bench to complete the win with just minutes remaining of the match.
Argentina lost just one game in the 2020 Tri Nations competitions, with that defeat coming against the All-Blacks. They took two draws from the games that they played against Australia, but their big standout result was a victory over New Zealand. It was a landmark win for Mario Ledesma’s side in Sydney, as they claimed a 25-15 success. Nicolas Sanchez scored a try in the win, while he also converted and scored six of his seven penalty attempts.
However, maintaining that performance level will be key to their chances in the tournament this year. There is no denying that there is potential there with this Argentina side, but they have constantly found problems when coming up against the best nations in the world. That was also evident in the World Cup two years ago, as they were beaten by both France and England in the group stages, with their only wins coming against Tonga and the USA.
Head to Head
South Africa have dominated the previous meetings between the nations. They have won 26 of the 30 meetings, with Argentina winning on just three occasions. South Africa have won the last two. The last meeting between the nations in the Rugby Championship was won 46-13 in the 2019 tournament.
South Africa vs Argentina Prediction
Unsurprisingly, South Africa are the clear favourites in the BetXchange betting to win the opening match against Argentina. We have to agree that they would be the side best placed to win the match, as they come into the game with an excellent record against Argentina, and are in excellent form.