Pollard shines as South Africa clinch Rugby Championship

Pollard shines as South Africa clinch Rugby Championship

Pollard shines as South Africa clinch Rugby Championship

Flyhalf Handre Pollard scored two tries and tallied 31 points as South Africa crushed Argentina 46-13 this morning to win the Rugby Championship for the first time.

The emphatic win gave the unbeaten Springboks a bonus point and a total of 12 points from their three matches, four more than second-placed Australia who earlier on Saturday stunned reigning champions New Zealand 47-26 in Perth.

"We need to put South Africa under pressure, make them make mistakes, score first".

Flyhalf Pollard scored two of his side's five tries and kicked five penalties and three conversions for a personal haul of 31 points, his best tally in an global.

For much of the opening half it seemed the Springboks might squander their huge volume of possession, just as they did in the 16-16 draw with New Zealand in their previous match.

"We played the best teams in the southern hemisphere so it is good to have this one step up, although a lot of work still needs to be done before the World Cup".

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But they fell behind to the Pumas with barely three minutes gone when a kick over the top from Nicolas Sanchez caught the defence napping and Santiago Cordero sprinted in to dot down for a try, which fly-half Sanchez converted.

South Africa responded with Pollard's first penalty and a try by hooker Bongi Mbonambi from a concerted lineout drive.

Sanchez and Pollard then exchanged penalties as the game became tit for tat, but the latter helped the Boks surge ahead on the stroke of half time when he took a pass from half-back partner Faf de Klerk close to the line and finished for a try which he duly converted.

A very quiet first half for the fullback particular on attack.

Pumas coach Mario Ledesma said that despite the disappointing results in the truncated championship, Argentina would not be distracted from their preparations for a tough World Cup pool that also includes England and France. "Fitting in the players from overseas was a bigger challenge than we expected".

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