Buenos Aires, Argentina – South Africa captain Jean de Villiers arrived in Argentina with the rest of the Springboks on Sunday, bracing for a return match against the Pumas – this time before a rowdy home crowd in the western city of Mendoza.
De Villiers said he expects the Pumas to be energised before home fans after losing 27-6 to South Africa in Cape Town on Saturday.
“It's their first game at home in this competition,” De Villiers told The Associated Press. “They'll be out to prove a point. We know that they'll be tough, we know that they'll be emotionally up for it – and mentally up for it. We're prepared for a massive battle on Saturday.”
De Villiers credited Argentina with restricting South Africa to only three tries in what was the Pumas' first match in the inaugural Rugby Championship – the expanded version of the former Tri-Nations.
“They were competitive throughout the game. They played well,” De Villiers said. “They're a quality side. They can take a lot of confidence out of that game and we are definitely prepared for a massive game.
“Everybody says there's a home ground advantage, and Argentina will definitely have that on Saturday.”
South Africa have lost hooker Bismarck du Plessis, who injured his right knee on Saturday and has been ruled out for the rest of the season. He has been replaced by Craig Burden. – Sapa-AP