SA v Argentina: Big-match Special
The SuperSport.com team is in Cape Town today to bring you all the action as South Africa and Argentina meet in their first ever Castle Rugby Championship encounter.
Our two senior correspondents, Brenden Nel and Gavin Rich, will bring you a good-as-there experience from the Newlands.
Our coverage will included text updates of the build-up, video, live streaming, a Q&A session and live text commentary.
You're welcome to join us on Facebook and Twitter and share your opinions, or simply leave a comment at the base of this page.
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15:00 - Good afternoon and welcome to our live coverage of the Castle Rugby Championship test between South Africa and Argentina. After a week of heavy rains Cape Town is sunny and warm today; perfect conditions for rugby. We're just hoping the teams match the weather.
The suburb of Newlands is in festive mood today with green jerseys in sight everywhere. The sponsors are also out in full force. Castle has its usual beer garden next to the brewery, but what really caught our eye was the 5-metre tall inflatable Springbok jersey erected by Absa. Fans are invited to write good luck messages to the Boks. Here's a look:
15:25 - Today, of course, is a huge occasion for Argentina, as they join a major annual International tournament for the first time. We picked up this video by their sponsors, and it had us thinking: how much will they love us in the shadow of beautiful Table Mountain this afternoon?
15:40 - SA Rugby's statisticians have provided us with a list of records to watch for this historic test. Looking through it, it seems that this match will be a bog one for Morne Steyn in more ways than one. Here it is:
• South Africa and Argentina have played against each other in 13 Test matches since 1993, with the Springboks winning all 13.
• The 13 consecutive Test victories over Argentina is a record for Springbok rugby. This record was equalled during last year’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand when South Africa beat Wales 17-16 in Wellington for their 13th consecutive win against Wales.
• This will be the first Test match for Argentina at DHL Newlands and the Springboks’ 49th. South Africa’s record here is: P 48; W 32; L 14; D 2; Win ratio 67%.
• The biggest win at DHL Newlands was against Namibia in 2007 when the Springboks recorded the second highest score in South African Test rugby history, winning 105-13.
• Bryan Habana is South Africa’s most capped Springbok wing with 76 Tests in this position (he has played one Test at centre) and is also most experienced player in the squad with a total of 77 Test caps. He is the Springbok top try scorer with 40 career tries in Tests (all scored as a wing).
• Bryan is one of 11 players who scored two tries in a Test match against Argentina and needs two tries to equal Jaque Fourie’s Springbok record of nine career tries in The Castle Rugby Championship / Tri-Nations tournament.
• Morné Steyn will surpass Butch James as South Africa’s most capped flyhalf when he plays on Saturday. It will be his 38th Test cap and 27th consecutive Test. Morné holds the Springbok record for most career tries in Tests as a flyhalf – 7. He is also the Springbok record holder for most career penalty goals in this tournament – 49.
• Morné needs 12 points to equal Percy Montgomery’s Springbok career record of 210 points in this tournament. He needs one drop goal to become the sole record holder for most career drop goals in the tournament. Currently he shares the record of four career drop goals with André Pretorius.
• His first penalty goal will be Morné’s 50th career penalty goal in this tournament. He needs five penalty goals to reach 100 career penalty goals and also needs 11 points to reach 50 career points at DHL Newlands.
• Bismarck du Plessis holds the Springbok record for most tries in Tests as a hooker – 6. He is one of nine Springboks who have scored three career tries at DHL Newlands and will play together with his older brother, Jannie du Plessis, in their record 24th Test as brothers.
• Jean de Villiers is South Africa’s most capped centre with 60 appearances in this position.
• Frans Steyn is one of only three Springboks who have scored two career drop goals at DHL Newlands and together with Naas Botha the only Springboks who achieved this in one Test match.
• Springbok career record holders at DHL Newlands are:
Percy Montgomery – 108 points, 17 conversions and 23 penalty goals; Nine players have scored three tries; Dawie Snyman, Naas Botha and Frans Steyn – 2 drop goals each.
• Springbok Test match record holders at DHL Newlands are: Percy Montgomery – 35 points; 12 conversions and 7 penalty goals; Four players have scored three tries each; Morné Steyn also scored seven penalty goals; Naas Botha and Frans Steyn – 2 drop goals each.
• Ruan Pienaar will become joint second most capped substitute (34 caps) with CJ van der Linde should he take the field on Saturday. Ollie le Roux played in 43 Tests as a substitute.
• Frans Steyn needs one drop goal to become the sole Springbok record holder for most career drop goals at DHL Newlands – 3.
15:50 - The comments are starting to come in on our facebook page, where we asked you for some predictions. Here are two:
Faried Manuel: Boks, but Argentina is fantastic add on to the competition. They will need a few seasons to get up to scratch, but will be good for rugby generally, maybe precursor to Argentina as venue for RWC!!
Rico Vorster: Very tough up front for first 50 mins but Bokke to get bonus point try win!! HIER KOM DIE BOKKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
You can join the conversation over at facebook.com/supersportrugby
16:00 - Little more than an hour to go before kickoff here in Cape Town, and stil the stadium is pretty empty. It's real bustle in the streets around the stadium. The Pumas are first onto the field to start their warm-up drills. Once again, what a big occasion for them.
16:10 - Still on that subject. South Africa's favourite Puma, Federico Mendez, has been quite vocal about what Argentina's inclusion into the Rugby Championship will mean. "Wherever I could I always fought for inclusion in a tournament such as the Rugby Championship. It is great for Argentine rugby to be playing against the best in the world and to start with South Africa has a sense of history," said the former Sharks hooker.
16:25 - Both sides are now on the field warming up. The stadium itself is also now starting to fill up, with especially the small pockets of Puma fans quite vocal. Here's what it looks like from our vantage point:
16:35 - The on-field entertainment is provided by Afrikaans singer Theuns Jordaan, singing something about "as die son opkom" while the sun dips lazily in behind the mountain in the background.
16:45 - Ah, this is what we came to see: trompoppies! Of course, five seconds after taking this pic their entire formation came within inches of being toplled by a Springbok backline move.
16:55 - Ok, time for the serious business to start. The teams are coming for the anthems.
For those of you who can't make it to a TV set, remember to check out our live text commentary (the link is higher up in the article). Also, remember to join us on facebook when we bring you the two post-match press-conferences live.