Live Commentary: South Africa 24-13 Argentina - as it happened

Victor Matfield of South Africa wins the line out ball during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Bronze Final match between South Africa and Argentina at the Olympic Stadium on October 30, 2015
© Getty Images
Relive Sports Mole's live text coverage of South Africa's 24-13 victory over Argentina, as the Springboks secured third place at the Rugby World Cup.

South Africa eased past Argentina 24-13 at the Olympic Stadium to secure third place at the Rugby World Cup.

JP Pietersen crossed over inside the opening six minutes, but the second try of the evening did not arrive until the early stages of the second half courtesy of Eben Etzebeth.

Los Pumas were given a glimmer of hope when Tomas Cubelli- yellow-carded earlier in the game - slotted over a drop goal, but the Springboks remained resilient until the dying seconds when Juan Pablo Orlandi touched down.

Relive Sports Mole's live text coverage below.

7.00pmHello and welcome Sports Mole's live text coverage of the Rugby World Cup bronze-medal final between Argentina and South Africa at the Olympic Stadium.

7.02pmThis is certainly not the match either of these teams wanted to compete in on the closing weekend of the tournament, but the chance is there to end their participation on a relative high before flying back home.

7.04pmLos Pumas also have an opportunity to match their previous best finish at a World Cup, should they pick up a win in the English capital tonight. South Africa, on the other hand, will see this as a major disappointment in context of previous triumphs.

7.05pmBefore taking a look at both these sides in a little more depth, let's check out some confirmed team news from the Olympic Stadium.

7.07pmTEAM NEWS!

SOUTH AFRICA XV: Willie le Roux; JP Pietersen, Jesse Kriel, Damian de Allende, Bryan Habana; Handre Pollard, Ruan Pienaar; Tendai Mtawarira, Bismarck du Plessis, Frans Malherbe, Eben Etzebeth, Victor Matfield (capt), Francois Louw, Schalk Burger, Duane Vermeulen

ARGENTINA XV: Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino; Santiago Cordero, Matias Moroni, Jeronimo de la Fuente, Horacio Agulla; Nicolas Sanchez (capt), Tomas Cubelli; Juan Figallo, Julian Montoya, Ramiro Herrera; Matias Alemanno, Tomas Lavanini; Javier Ortega Desio, Juan Fernandez Lobbe, Juan Manuel Leguizamon

7.09pmStarting with Argentina, and the South American nation boast the competition's top-scoring player among their ranks. Nicolas Sanchez has racked up 89 points at this year's World Cup so far, with that magical century mark a real possibility this evening.

7.11pmSanchez will actually skipper Los Pumas this evening in what is their final game before flying home. It had been a magical journey up until last weekend's disappointment at Twickenham, but they will be without Marcos Ayerza for this one. An injury picked up in training on Thursday ended his campaign a few days early, meaning a place in the starting lineup for Juan Figallo.

7.13pmThat injury to Ayerza also means a late call-up for Santiago Garcia Botta, who was flown in especially for tonight's game. All-in-all it is now 10 changes for Los Pumas, meaning a fresh side to potentially match the achievement of eight years ago when they claimed a third-place finish at the Parc des Princes.

7.15pmSouth Africa make a couple of alterations, meanwhile, with Victor Matfield being handed the captaincy for his farewell match at this level. Among the starters is Bryan Habana, who is aiming to bag one score this evening to oust Jonah Lomu and become the outright leading try-scorer at the World Cup.

7.17pmHabana has five tries from his six games so far in this illustrious competition's latest edition, putting him three behind New Zealand ace Julian Savea. JP Pietersen is four scores away from that top spot, meanwhile, but running riot against Argentina is unlikely - regardless of the occasion.

7.19pmArgentina coach Daniel Hourcade was very emotional after last weekend's defeat to Australia, but he will no doubt have fired up his troops for this third-place showdown.

Argentina's head coach Daniel Hourcade holds a ball prior to a semi-final match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup between Argentina and Australia at Twickenham Stadium, southwest London, on October 25, 2015© Getty Images

7.21pmJust like throughout this competition, we have a reporter in place inside the ground this evening to provide us with some additional insight. Barney Corkhill is now in his seat at the Olympic Stadium, so let's check in with him for the first time:

"It's the game no-one wants to be involved in, but these two sides have such pride in the jersey that I'm still expecting a full-blooded, entertaining contest tonight. Argentina have drawn so many plaudits for the way that they have performed so far at this World Cup, while South Africa have looked fallible at times.

"Another third-placed finish for certainly be a good achievement for the Pumas, and they can take great heart from beating the Springboks already this year - the first time that they have ever managed to do so. Even so, their injuries could prove too much to overcome tonight - they are missing their captain, playmaker and best try-scorer, while South Africa have named an almost full-strength side."

7.23pmAs touched on there by Mr. Corkhill, finishing third will certainly be some achievement for Argentina who have come on leaps and bounds. Of course, after reaching the semi-finals any outcome other than lifting the Webb Ellis Cup will feel like a real anti-climax, but Los Pumas have won over a whole load of fans - both home and abroad.

7.25pmThe start of this tournament really does feel like a lifetime ago now, but it was back on that opening weekend that we saw Daniel Hourcade's men for the first time. Defeat to reigning champions New Zealand did not really offer us too much insight, yet wins over Georgia, Tonga and Namibia showed just why they were considered a real threat right from the off.

7.27pmEven after accumulating an incredible amount of pool-phase points, not many backed Argentina to overcome Ireland in the last eight. Joe Schmidt's men were carrying a few injuries, which ultimately told as the South Americans took complete control of the contest to storm into the semis.

7.29pmI was at the Millennium Stadium a fortnight ago in what felt like a home match for the Irish, although Argentina have themselves been incredibly well supported, while also winning the support of numerous neutrals along the way. Their attacking play in particular has caught the eye, but there was no way through against Australia last time out.

7.31pmThat second semi-final was strange in many ways; Argentina somehow keeping within a converted try of their opponents for large parts of the second half despite the one-sided nature. Ill-discipline from the Wallabies ultimately kept hope alive for their opponents, but a fifth score late on completely crushed Los Pumas' dreams.

7.33pmHourcade admitted afterwards that he felt "huge pain" as he watched his side's hopes and dreams fade away right in front of him. The Argentina head coach can be extremely proud of each of his players, though, following what has been a very successful showing overall. We get to watch them one more time tonight, so let's just hope they have brought their A-game on this occasion.

7.35pmPREVIOUS MEETINGS! These two sides have met on 21 previous occasions and, if past results are anything to go by, then this one is only heading one way. South Africa have claimed 19 wins to their opponents' solitary one, although that victory did come earlier this year in the Rugby Championship.

7.37pmTo be fair, the Springboks had to wait just a week to exact their revenge as they ran out 26-16 winners in Buenos Aries. But what about at the World Cup? This will actually be just the second ever meeting between the two, with South Africa prevailing 37-13 the last time they met at the final-four stage of the 2007 edition.

7.39pmThe action will get underway at the Olympic Stadium in a little over 20 minutes' time.

7.41pmWhile it may have been six weeks ago now, South Africa's opening-game defeat to Japan will live long in the memory well behind the end of this competition. It truly was the World Cup's greatest ever upset - possibly the biggest in sporting history in the context of things - but the Springboks did just about recover.

7.43pmHeyneke Meyer's charges followed up that defeat in Brighton by seeing off Samoa, Scotland and the United States. In fact, their 64-0 thrashing of USA - their record cup win - took place at this very venue. That may have no baring on things this evening, but it will certainly provide far fonder memories than The Amex!

7.45pmSouth Africa then faced a real challenge in the quarter-finals against an injury-hit Wales side, but they passed that test well to prolong their journey. Overcoming New Zealand in the next round was always going to be a monumental task, though, and so it proved six days ago up the road at Twickenham.

7.47pmSouth Africa did hold a five-point lead at half time against the Kiwis, remember, before finding themselves five behind 12 minutes into the second half. That said more about the reigning champions than anything else, but it certainly made defeat even harder to take in the end.

7.49pmMeyer, who admitted that he was "proud" of his players following that slender defeat that went right to the wire, opted to remain coy when questions were asked about his future. The Springboks boss took over in 2012, but could this prove to be the end of the journey? Only time will tell, I guess.

7.51pmDID YOU KNOW? South Africa have only lost back-to-back games at a World Cup on one previous occasion. That happened in this very competition, in fact, as defeat to Japan followed up their semi-final loss of four years ago. They have never lost two in succession during one tournament, though.

7.53pmIncidentally, this is also the second time that South Africa have competed in a third-place playoff. They beat New Zealand in 1999 to seal bronze, four years after going all the way and lifting the Webb Ellis Cup for the first time.

7.55pmNot long to go until this one gets underway now, so let's get a prediction from Barney Corkhill, who is in position inside the Olympic Stadium for us this evening:

"I would have loved to have seen these two go head to head both with full-strength sides. This Argentina team have evolved their style ever since being included in the Rugby Championship, and they are becoming more and more of an attacking threat as a result. Indeed, only the All Blacks have scored more points and more tries than the Pumas at this World Cup. However, they have been ravaged by injuries ahead of this match and that is likely to have a fatal impact on their chances. I'm going for a South Africa win by nine."

7.57pmAnthems time inside the Olympic Stadium, starting with South Africa and moving on to Argentina. It might not be the match they wanted to play in this weekend, but both sets of players are showing plenty of passion in these moments leading up to the match getting underway.

7.59pmSouth Africa's win rate of 90% against Argentina is their second best against any country that they have played more than 10 times.

Argentina's full-back Juan Imhoff clears the ball during the Rugby Championship Test match between South Africa and Argentina at Kings Park stadium in JDurban on August 8, 2015© Getty Images

1 minMATCH UNDERWAY! John Lacey gets proceedings underway at the Olympic Stadium. Let's hope for an entertaining affair in this penultimate match of the tournament.

3 minArgentina have seen a large amount of the ball in these opening few minutes, but there has not been a great deal of action thus far. The first scrum of the match works in the Springboks' favour, allowing them to push forward before Alemanno got a big hit in.

5 minYELLOW CARD! Argentina turn the ball over and now it is their chance to break forward. All very sloppy so far, though, and that is underlined by a yellow card inside the opening five minutes. Tomas Cubelli in the man sin-binned by John Lacey for slowing the ball down.


A fifth score of the World Cup for JP Pietersen, who nicely finished off the Springboks' first real attack. A nice gap was found out wide after initially failing to go down under the posts, and Pietersen did well in a one-on-one situation to stretch over. No mistake from the follow-up by Handre Pollard.

8 minNot a great start for Los Pumas, then, who are a man down and a try down. They have yet to find their attacking groove whatsoever, as South Africa look to put together some more attacking moves in these early stages.

10 minI think the vast majority of the Olympic Stadium thought that history had just been made. Habana appeared to get on the end of a nicely played ball through, but he failed to ground it over the line which the TMO was quick to clarify. No real celebrations from Habana, who knew what was coming.

12 minA little more from Barney Corkhill now following this one-sided start to the game:

"Habana was inches away from breaking the record there, but despite that one not being awarded it has still been a good start from the Springboks and a bit of a nightmare for Argentina. A yellow card and converted try inside the opening minutes is not what they would have wanted here."


The Springboks looking particularly dangerous now, without being able to add a second try to their tally. They do have three more points via the boot of Pollard, though, coming after an obstruction 25 metres from the whitewash.

16 minFigallo has to temporarily depart the field to get cleared up. Cubelli attempted to come back on a few moments ago, meanwhile, only for John Lacey to remind him that his spell on the sidelines still has a minute or so left to run.

18 minArgentina concede a penalty at the scrum, the fourth pen they have given away so far, but it is well out of reach of the sticks. Instead it goes high via the boot of Pienaar and, while the take was good, Argentina win back the ball. Los Pumas are still camped in their own half, though, which has been the case since the very first minute.

20 minMore cheers around the Olympic Stadium as Habana almost bursts through, but Cordero did well to get back. That try-scoring record will surely be Habana's by the end of play tonight.

22 minJP Pietersen needs just six more tries this evening to draw level with teammate Bryan Habana.

24 minArgentina kick into touch deep in South Africa territory to help put on some pressure - something they have not done enough of. It has certainly been far more balanced over the past 10 minutes, but a grubber through bobbles out of play for a Springboks lineout.

26 minBrilliant from Cubelli, who gets the Argentina supporters out of their seats for the first time. The scrum-half's jinking run past a few bodies takes Los Pumas within seven metres of the Springboks' line, only for the move to eventually break down. Much better from the South Americans.

28 minWe now have a far more balanced game on our hands. Argentina really need to score while enjoying a fruitful spell, because their opponents look like they could cross over with each attacking move. Habana was again seemingly in for that record-breaking try, yet some bad handling let him down.

30 minThe game has settled into a tame manner once more, meaning the score remains at 10-0 with half-hour played. South Africa are dictating things still, albeit against an improved Argentina side. The Springboks now have themselves another penalty within kicking range after Sanchez came in from the side.


Pollard makes no mistake from the pen, so that really was a poor error of judgement from Sanchez. Unnecessary does not come close.

34 minSo 13 points now the advantage for the Springboks, which I would say is just about what they deserve. Hardly been a classic showing from the two-time winners, but there is no denying who is in control of this game as half time approaches.

36 minOne of the big talking points of this half, as Habana looks to be in for the third time tonight. The Springboks great went to ground when within 10 metres of the chalk, yet he was at fault and ended up conceding a penalty rather than bagging a score.

38 minA seventh pen of the evening for the Springboks - this time for offside - goes into touch, providing a chance to find a second try in the closing stages of the half. South Africa go for the jugular but, against a tiring Argentina, there is no way over the line.


That second try is still alluding Meyer's men, but their tally is ticking along nicely as Pollard boots over three more points to become the tournament's top scorer. More slow play at blame for Los Pumas there.


8.50pmIt has been far from a classic at the Olympic Stadium so far, in truth, but the good news is it can only get better (I hope). Credit to South Africa, because while they could not quite get that second try, they did build up their lead nicely through a few pens.

8.53pmArgentina needlessly gifted their opponents the chance to add nine points from pretty much nothing, with JP Pietersen's the only man to cross over so far. That came six minutes in through some nice play, which saw the ball worked to the right to expose Los Pumas.

8.56pmRight, time to cross back over to Barney Corkhill inside the Olympic Stadium for his thoughts on the opening 40 minutes:

"So far so good for the Springboks, then. Argentina's attack has shown flashes, but this isn't the first time that South Africa's defence has shown resilience at this World Cup. They lead by 16 at the break and it would be some achievement if Argentina come back from this - a record-breaking one, in fact. All eyes are on Bryan Habana, who has had four or five nearly moments already as he goes in search of that unprecedented 16th Rugby World Cup try."

8.58pmIndeed, much of that first half centred around Bryan Habana, who is in need of just one score this evening to become the leading try-scorer at this famous competition. In the end it was all about Pollard, whose imperious kicking lifted him to the top of the 2015 points scoring table.

9.01pmCheer up, Andy - 40 more minutes still to come.

9.03pmBoth sets of players are now back out onto the field, so let's get back to it. Can Argentina make up a 16-point margin, or will South Africa simply tighten their grip on things?

41 minRESTART! Argentina kick the ball high to get the second half underway.


Well that has certainly lifted the atmosphere! Sanchez, from out of nowhere, slots the ball nicely through to sticks with a drop goal from 40 metres out. Right down the middle, too.


Breathing space for South Africa after that early setback in this second half, as Etzebeth responds superbly to touch down in the corner. Kriel and Habana were involved in the build-up, before Etzebeth was given the honour of making it 21-3. Pollard was wayward from the follow-up attempt.

45 minSo a very lively start to this second half, then, with eight points already on the board. South Africa now looking bright down the right wing, but they have to settle for another penalty on this occasion.


Too many offsides from Argentina, which forces the referee to have a word. Pollard profits from it, slotting over another pen to make that advantage look even stronger at this stage.

49 minSanchez boots into touch; penalties no longer good enough. Nothing to lose now for Los Pumas, but the ball is quickly won back by the Boks. One score for the men in blue and white will make it game on once more, yet South Africa still look the more likely.


The penalty advantage comes back for Argentina, giving them a chance to reflect. Still no way through the South Africa defence, so Sanchez this time kicks over to reduce the lead somewhat.

53 minLobbe leaves the field to a superb ovation. Not the best way to potentially bow out, although Argentina still have over 25 minutes to pull their way back into this game. They desperately need a try over the next few minutes if a comeback is to be on the cards.

55 minThe Boks make some ground in their opponents' half once again, but Pollard's kick comes to nothing and Los Pumas can themselves break. They reach halfway before play is pulled back for offside. Plenty of changes now which is really disrupting the flow.

57 minPumas knock the ball on at the end of another lineout, and a sense that this one is now out of their grasp. Still they come forward, with Cordero being ignored on the far side when he really should have been picked out. Los Pumas are so exciting when they get forward, but we have not seen enough of it.

59 minGood play from Louw to shift the pressure back on the opposition. The Pumas break into the Springboks' half - a real rarity in the context of the game - before hitting another brick wall. Louw is now off the field to get checked out, Burger returns to take over.

61 minJesse Kriel attempts to break through for South Africa during the first half. The Springboks lead by 18 points heading into the final 20 minutes of this third-place playoff.

Jesse Kriel of South Africa attempts to break through during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Bronze Final match between South Africa and Argentina at the Olympic Stadium on October 30, 2015© Getty Images

63 minBarney Corkhill provides us with a little more of his insight from high up in the Olympic Stadium:

"Argentina keep on battering away, but South Africa deserve great credit for keeping them at bay. They have missed a fair few tackles, but all in all they have once again defended admirably. There were questions whether they would be up for this one as much as the Argentinians, but they are rubbishing such speculation with a professional display here."

64 minI was about to say things have just boiled over slightly, as Etzebeth shoves Lavanini, but you will never see a more casual 'fight'. Both players smiling as they pull away at each other and, a quick word from the referee later, we are back on our way.

66 minArgentina playing with some real heart, knowing that they essentially need a try in the next few minutes or else their hopes of claiming third place are surely over. A lineout just outside the Springboks' 22 does not really bring any reward.

68 minBryan Habana departs the field, and with him goes the chance of overtaking Jonah Lomu's World Cup try-scoring record. He will 36 come the next instalment of this competition in Japan, so that may be his final bow so to speak.


South Africa opt to take the pen on, despite holding this hefty advantage, and those not backing the Springboks inside the Olympic Stadium are delighted to see Pollard strike the post.

72 minJust eight minutes left to play now and it is all very scrappy. A late try for Argentina would be a brilliant way to round off what has otherwise been an underwhelming contest. That said, it has certainly been a professional showing by South Africa, who clearly want that third-place finish.

74 minArgentina's fans are bouncing around all of a sudden - they are loving their World Cup adventure. Last week's loss hit them hard, but they will not lot successive defeats ruin this everlasting party. Six minutes or so on the clock, and a scrum to contest in Argentina's half.

76 minThe night's 23rd penalty of the night goes in Argentina's favour, and there is little surprise to see them go for touch. They run through the phases but there really is no way through the Springboks' stubborn defence.

78 minSo incredibly efficient by the Springboks, who are just happy to see their tiring opponents come at them with limited power. Los Pumas now pushed into touch and time is very nearly up. Santiago Garcia Botta is on the field for the closing stages, having flown in from Argentina overnight.

80 minArgentina have nothing left in the tank. They are running on empty but still giving their all in pursuit of that maiden try. I think every neutral across the globe is willing them on, but it looks increasingly unlikely as we enter the red.


How about that. They have been pushing and pushing and pushing, and finally they have something to show for their efforts. Orlandi stretched over from a metre or so out to provide even more joy to a proud nation.


9.57pmA superb conclusion to this match, and a just reward for all of Argentina's efforts. South Africa claim third place, though, ending their tournament on a relative high.

9.59pmLet's check in on Barney Corkhill for one final time this evening:

"The biggest cheer of the night greets that late try as Argentina finally get on the board. Despite the result, it was the Argentine fans making all the noise towards the end of that match. It was something of an anticlimax on the field as far as the South Americans are concerned, but the odds were always stacked against them today and they have had a fine World Cup on the whole.

"South Africa, meanwhile, would have been fearing a lot worse than third place after their defeat to Japan in the opening game so, while failing to make the final will be a lingering disappointment, they can be relatively happy with how they have responded to that stunning loss. There are big questions remaining over how they will cope with the loss of messrs Matfield, Burger, De Villiers, Du Preez and maybe even Habana, if not tonight then in the next couple of years, while the future of Argentina looks very bright indeed."

10.00pmWell that concludes Sports Mole's live text coverage, but be sure to join us tomorrow for the big one - Australia vs. New Zealand in the Rugby World Cup final. See you then!

Argentina's Marcelo Bosch in action against New Zealand on September 28, 2013
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