The breakdown battle at Loftus Versfeld promises to be a classic, with two world-class fetchers going head-to-head, writes JON CARDINELLI.
Francois Louw has been one of the most consistent performers for the Springboks over the past three seasons. His ability to compete at the breakdown has often allowed the Bok defence precious time to reset. Those characteristic turnovers at the ruck have also handed South Africa some wonderful counter-attacking opportunities.
The Boks go into this clash against Argentina needing a four-try bonus point. They will employ the same game plan, which means that their abrasive defence will create counter-attacking chances and ultimately try-scoring opportunities. Louw will be key in terms of making those turnovers.
Argentina will have no such ambitions. They will look to disrupt and stifle the Boks at the tackle point, and slow the game down. A win may be out of their reach, but victory in the physical contest will be great consolation.
It's here where Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe will be influential. Earlier this week, Lobbe said that he aims to make a physical statement, both at the collisions and breakdowns. He will lend the Pumas an abrasive edge, and the Bok forwards would do well to keep him away from the ball at ruck time.
Argentina lost the war in Mendoza last year, but won the breakdown battle. They clearly fancy their chances of a repeat showing at Loftus Versfeld, especially with Lobbe in tow.
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