Boks to match Argentina’s intensity in championship finale

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Wing Makazole Mapimpi has vowed South Africa will fight fire with fire when they host Argentina in a final Rugby Championship fixture in Durban on Saturday, with the home side poised for a rare title win.

The Springboks are level with New Zealand on 14 points at the top of the table, with the All Blacks to host Australia in Auckland earlier on Saturday.

New Zealand have a +41 points-difference and the Boks +28, but South Africa will know exactly the equation needed to overtake the former by the time they kickoff at a sold out King’s Park.

Argentina are mathematically still in the hunt themselves, but it would take a stunning set of results and massive points swing from their -43 to finish top.

Mapimpi expects the South Americans to be out for revenge after their 36-20 loss in Buenos Aires last weekend, where the home side clawed their way back into the contest to trail by two points in the final 10 minutes, only for South Africa to pull ahead again.

“Similar to their forwards, their backs are physical, and that is something we’ll need to try to match in the game,” Mapimpi told reporters. “For us, we need to make things personal, and be at our best.

“It’s very important for us as a team and for the fans to win the competition and see things come together. We played a few games away from home, and it’s great to be back and have a chance to win the Rugby Championship, so we are looking forward to Saturday.”

The Boks go in search of a fifth southern hemisphere title, though their last in 2019 was in a shortened competition with three matches per team due to the World Cup in Japan.

The last time they won in a competition with a full set of fixtures was 2009. 

(Reuters)