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VIDEO: Passionate Pumas letter-perfect for Bok build-up

South Africa will need to ’embrace’ the raw passion they are going to experience at Vélez Sarsfield in Buenos Aires on Saturday.

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While the Springboks were far from satisfied with their fortuitous 22-21 win in the final round Rugby Championship win at Ellis Park this past weekend, Los Pumas have ‘revenge’ on their minds for the World Cup warm-up outing this coming Saturday.

Having flown out of South Africa straight after the game this past Saturday – with a charter flight they shared with Los Pumas – the 26-man Bok squad arrived in Buenos Aires Sunday morning.

While scrumhalf Grant Williams to not make the trip – as a result of the concussion he suffered when Argentinean fullback Juan Cruz Mallia collided with him – wing Kurt-Lee Arendse has recovered sufficiently from his finger injury to be considered for the first of three warm-up matches.

Springbok assistant coach Deon Davids said the ‘arm-wrestle’ in the Den was great preparation for the tough challenges awaiting them in the World Cup – where they will meet the world’s top-ranked team Ireland and No.5 Scotland in pool play.

The Springboks had to weather a fiercely committed onslaught from Argentina in front of 44 357 fans at Ellis Park.

They spent long periods of the second half pinned in their own half.

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The scrappy affair in Johannesburg followed an equally disappointing performance in Auckland a fortnight earlier – where they lost 20-35 to a fired-up All Black team.

“That is what we needed to test our plans and testing the players we are considering for [World Cup] selection,” Davids said.

“Tests are about pressure and learning from that.

“[In that regard] it was a good test for us,” he added.

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Davids said they will face another impassioned performance from Los Pumas, especially on their home soil.

“We are not expecting anything less here in Buenos Aires.

“You have a passionate team on the field and passionate spectators supporting them.

“We expect the same, following their performance at Ellis Park.

“It is up to the players to embrace that and ensure we apply the tactics we want to improve on for this game.”

(Springbok assistant coach Deon Davids talks about facing Los Pumas in BA…)

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Bok coach Jacques Nienaber also likened the Ellis Park outing last week to a ‘typical World Cup arm wrestle’.

“We’re going to experience similar situations at the World Cup and to manage it in the way that Duane [Vermeulen] did at the end with the yellow card was very good,” said Nienaber.

“The amount of attitude the players had in defence was outstanding.

“The attitude they had in their ball carrying was outstanding.

“We made a couple of mistakes with tactical and technical stuff but that the easy stuff we can fix.

“But making it personal with the defence and the ball carrying is what I was incredibly proud of.

“It wasn’t the nicest game, but it was good to grind out the win.”

@king365ed
@rugby365com

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