Jean De Villiers, Marcell Coetzee, Willie Le Roux to miss Pumas rematch

Sport360 staff 15:58 09/08/2015
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De Villiers fractured his jaw.

South Africa captain Jean de Villiers, Marcell Coetzee and Willie le Roux will all miss next weekend’s rematch with Argentina in Buenos Aires, the South Africa Rugby Union announced on Sunday.

The trio all suffered injuries in Saturday’s historic 37-25 Rugby Championship defeat to the Pumas in Durban.

De Villiers fractured his jaw which will rule him out for up to six weeks.

Coetzee suffered a medial collateral ligament injury to his left knee which will rule him out for approximately six weeks. The injury is unrelated to the knee injury he suffered a few weeks ago in Brisbane.

Le Roux sprained his ankle early in the match against Argentina and will also not be considered for the trip to Buenos Aires. 

He will undergo scans early in the week to determine the exact nature of the injury.

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Several players on the way back from injury such as Victor Matfield, Fourie du Preez and JP Pietersen, will be assessed on Monday before a decision on their availability for next weekend will be taken, Springobk team doctor Craig Roberts said.

Although Steven Kitshoff, Frans Malherbe, Willem Alberts, Warren Whiteley and Jan Serfontein were declared fit to play last week, Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer decided to give them an additional week to recover and they will be considered for selection next week.

Apart from De Villiers, Coetzee and Le Roux, other injured players who will not be considered for the trip to Buenos Aires, are Jannie du Plessis, Coenie Oosthuizen, Francois Louw and Duane Vermeulen.

Morne Steyn has been released from the squad for the week to be with his wife, who is due to give birth to their second child on Monday.

Frans Steyn, although still recovering from injury, is on compassionate leave following the passing of his brother and a decision on when he will rejoin the squad to be assessed will be taken at a later stage.

Winger Juan Imhoff scored a hat-trick of tries as Argentina recorded a stunning first win over South Africa in Durban.

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Pumas get first win over Springboks

Sport360 staff 22:24 08/08/2015
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Juan Imhoff had a night to remember.

Winger Juan Imhoff scored a hat-trick of tries as Argentina recorded a historic first win over South Africa by 37-25 on Saturday in the final match of the 2015 Rugby Championship in Durban.

After 18 losses and a draw since the countries first met 22 years ago in Buenos Aires, the Pumas not only defeated the Springboks for the first time but also won away for the first time in the southern hemisphere competition.

Imhoff crossed the line twice in the opening half to help underdogs Argentina build a 27-13 half-time lead and South Africa never recovered from his third try early in the second half.

The result – only Argentina’s second win in 21 tournament matches – spoilt the Test comeback of Springboks skipper and centre Jean de Villiers, leading his country for the first time since suffering a serious knee injury last November.

De Villiers called the defeat “embarrassing” just five weeks out from the World Cup.

Australia won the Rugby Championship earlier Saturday with a 27-19 triumph in Sydney over world champions New Zealand, Argentina finished third and winless South Africa last.

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“We deserved to make history tonight,” said Pumas skipper and hooker Agustin Creevy, “and I am so happy.

“My team played with tremendous heart and the victory is very encouraging after losses to New Zealand and Australia last month.

“It was vital to close the Championship with a win.”

De Villiers said: “That was a pretty embarrassing loss, but all credit to Argentina for executing their game plan so well.

“We did not do the green and gold jersey proud tonight and I believe our problems are more mental than physical.”

It took the Pumas just 100 seconds to go ahead as an inside pass caught the Springboks napping and Imhoff sent centre Marcelo Bosch over for a try that fly-half Juan Martin Hernandez converted.     

After fly-half Handre Pollard trimmed the deficit to four points via a penalty, the South Americans struck again as Imhoff gathered an aimless kick ahead and triggered a move he later finished off.

Hernandez, a veteran of the 2007 and 2011 World Cup tournaments and recalled in place of off-form Nicolas Sanchez, converted again.

Another Pollard penalty was followed by another Imhoff try with the Pumas winning a scrum and breaking on the narrow side for the winger to go over.

Inexperienced Springbok tighthead prop Vincent Koch was having a torrid time at the scrums and being repeatedly penalised by French referee Romain Poite.

South Africa narrowed the gap to 21-13 when lock Lood de Jager used his bulk to barge over and Pollard converted.

But two Pumas penalties, from Hernandez and Bosch, left the visitors 14 points ahead halfway through the match.

Koch was replaced by Marcel van der Merwe at half-time as coach Heyneke Meyer reacted to a nightmare first half at scrum time for the Springboks.

South Africa controversially fell seven points further behind three minutes into the second half when Imhoff completed his hat-trick.

While the Springboks waited on the try-line, believing the referee had not restarted play after an injury, Hernandez took a tap penalty and passed to Imhoff, who waltzed over for Hernandez to convert.

Full-back Willie le Roux offered a glimmer of hope to the stunned 27,000 crowd by beginning and ending a move which produced a try that Pollard converted, leaving South Africa 14 points adrift with 30 minutes left.

Argentina, watched by some survivors of the first Pumas to tour South Africa 50 years ago, were next to score as Bosch dropped a goal before winger Bryan Habana claimed a late try for the hosts.

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Aussies beat NZ to win Rugby Championship

Sport360 staff 16:31 08/08/2015
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Sekope Kepu scored a try to put Australia in the lead.

Replacement Nic White proved the unlikely hero as the Wallabies ended a 10-match losing run against the All Blacks to win the Rugby Championship title in Sydney.

the Brumbies scrum-half scored a try and kicked a long-range penalty goal and a conversion in the final minutes to give Australia a 27-19 win before 73,824 fans at ANZ Stadium.

The Wallabies last beat the All Blacks 25-20 in Brisbane in 2011 on the way to winning the Tri-Nations.

In Michael Cheika’s biggest win as the new coach, the Wallabies showed plenty of resolve to beat the world champions three tries to two, just a month out from the World Cup.

They trailed the All Blacks 6-3 at half-time, but controlled much of the second half and now have the chance in Auckland next weekend to win back the Bledisloe Cup they last held in 2002.

The Wallabies wasted a couple of scoring opportunities but could thank a desperate tackle from Michael Hooper for only trailing by three points at half-time.

Australia started promisingly pushing back the All Blacks in the first scrum and winning a couple of turnovers but they went a man down when prop Sekope Kepu was yellow carded for off-side as New Zealand pressed Australia’s try-line.

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Dan Carter kicked the penalty but the Wallabies suffered no further damage during Kepu’s absence and levelled with a Matt Giteau penalty in the 27th minute in their first sustained period of attack. Carter kept the All Blacks in front with a 40-metre penalty while Giteau’s second attempt came off an upright.

Israel Folau sliced through but was brought down by a last-ditch tackle from counterpart Ben Smith, only for the Wallabies to blow a try-scoring chance with Dean Mumm fumbling a poorly directed Nick Phipps in the next phase.

A thundering burst from prop Owen Franks put New Zealand on the attack on half-time but a great covering tackle by Hooper on winger Julian Savea saved the situation for the Wallabies.

Aaron Smith was sin-binned for a head-high tackle on Adam Ashley-Cooper but the Wallabies hit the front through an unlikely source minutes later.

Tight-head prop Kepu steamed through Kieran Read’s tackle and another to score under the bar for Giteau to convert for a 10-6 lead. 

Carter kicked the All Blacks to within a point with his third penalty to become the first player to raise 1,500 Test points.

Phipps capped a miserable night when he was sin-binned for a professional foul, tackling Conrad Smith in an off-side position off a quick tap kick to leave his team down a man at a critical time.

The All Blacks made the Wallabies pay when debut winger Nehe Milner-Skudder finished off a Ben Smith break to put New Zealand back in front two minutes later.

Replacement Matt Toomua made an immediate impact with a clever kick for Ashley-Cooper to regather and score in the right corner for Giteau to convert and a 17-14 lead.

Milner-Skudder retrieved the lead for the All Blacks with his second try, wrestling the ball over the try-line at the second attempt. Replacement scrum-half White put the Wallabies ahead with a 47-metre penalty goal into the final 10 minutes.

White proved the hero when he broke two tackles close to the All Blacks line to dart over for Australia’s third try and kick the conversion for a 27-19 lead with eight minutes left.

The Test was All Blacks captain Richie McCaw’s 141st international, equalling the current world record held by Ireland’s Brian O’Driscoll.

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