The Springboks arrived in Mendoza on Friday morning (Argentinean time) where they will look to build on last weekend’s Castle Lager Rugby Championship victory over Argentina when these two teams meet in the Estadio Malvinas Argentinas on Saturday afternoon.
The Boks realise their 73-13 win at Soccer City will have no bearing on Saturday’s match against the Pumas, who will be happy to be playing in front of a very loud and passionate home crowd in Mendoza. Last year’s corresponding match ended in a 16-16 draw.
Speaking at the team’s hotel in Mendoza on Friday afternoon, Springbok captain Jean de Villiers said a lot is at stake this weekend.
“We’ve made it clear that last year when we came here, we didn’t get the result we wanted. This time around we need to make it right, but we certainly won’t be complacent about it,” said De Villiers.
“We’ve prepared well (this week) and reviewing last week’s game, we know there is still a lot of things we can improve on. We need to be constantly improving and hopefully we can see some of that tomorrow.
“It’s been four years since we’ve won an away match in this competition and we need to win away from home. We’ve done well on the end of year tour, but one of our goals is to play well outside South Africa as well, which is part of the team’s evolvement.”
While the Springboks have made only one change to their match 23 – Jano Vermaak replaces Fourie du Preez on the bench – injuries to key players have meant the Pumas had to make a number of changes.
De Villiers doesn’t want to read too much into that and also said whatever happened at Soccer City belongs in history: “Last week’s game is done and dusted – we need to perform tomorrow.”