Springboks hammer Argentina to win Rugby Championship title

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The Springboks clinched their first southern hemisphere title since the 2009 Tri Nations as they hammered Argentina 46-13 on Saturday.

The Springboks went into the match knowing avoiding defeat would be enough to secure the title thanks to Australia's 47-26 victory over New Zealand earlier in the day.

South Africa begin their bid for a third World Cup title against defending champions New Zealand, who had a tough time of it in the recently-concluded Rugby Championship.

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 worldwide.

Wingers Makazole Mapimpi and Cheslin Kolbe added further tries in the 64th and 67th minute to complete the rout.

"It's a fantastic feeling", said Duane Vermeulen, who captained the twice world champions.

"This is a nice thing for the team for all the hard work put in and it is also a big thing for us going on to the World Cup".

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Nicolas Sanchez scored two penalties in what was a tight contest for much of the first half, but the ill-disciplined Pumas were scoreless after the break and finished bottom of the table without a win to their name.

South Africa responded with Pollard's first penalty and a try by hooker Bongi Mbonambi from a concerted lineout drive. "It's one step up, still a lot of work to be done but yah, it's a good feeling".

But the Pollard try and conversion gave South Africa a 24-13 half-time advantage after a half in which the major difference between the teams was the scrums.

De Klerk was sin-binned for straying offside, yet Pollard gave ruthless South Africa more breathing space when he was on hand to claim another try following a great run from Franco Mostert. "If you look at it, nothing has really changed at the top - we have the same structures, the same CEO, the same coaching structures, but the players have stepped up".

The Pumas, whose last test win was against the Springboks in Mendoza, Argentina, in the 2018 championship, have now lost their last eight test matches although close results against New Zealand and Australia had given them confidence ahead of the match in Salta. Argentina became the fourth team to join the championship in 2012.

"It hurts us all, in our country ... but there's still a month of work before the World Cup and we mustn't lose sight of our focus".

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