Ross Roche

By Ross Roche

Senior sports writer

Bonus points key as Springboks head into Rugby Champs business end

Jasper Wiese meanwhile is likely to continue as the starting eight against the Pumas, and he will be keen to continue impressing.

Bonus points are going to be key if the Springboks want to walk away with the 2022 Rugby Championship title, as the competition enters the business end, with two games against Argentina remaining.

The All Blacks top the standings one point ahead of the Boks, Wallabies and Pumas who are only separated by points difference, meaning bonus points could end up deciding where the trophy heads after the next double round of games.

The Boks will thus need to try and secure a bonus point win over the Pumas in Buenos Aires next weekend, to try and stay in the hunt ahead of the final game back in South Africa.

ALSO READ: Mapimpi excited for Pumas challenge

“I think every team is playing for a bonus point at this stage. We have a shot to win it, so I think every team has to have the same mindset, not just us. Every team is on nine or 10 points, so it’s important for every team to try and get a bonus point,” explained Bok eighthman Jasper Wiese.

“But we just want to play our best and make ourselves and the country proud, and if we do that the bonus point should look after itself.”

Wiese has enjoyed a pretty solid season for the Boks to date and has impressed in his outings in the number eight jersey.

Despite Duane Vermeulen retaking the jersey on his return from injury, the stalwart looked off the pace in his two starting outings, with him still getting back to full match fitness, which saw Wiese back in the starting line-up for the past weekend’s win over the Wallabies.

Strong loose forward department

Wiese is likely to continue as the starting eight against the Pumas, and he will be keen to continue impressing in a very competitive loose forward department.

“To have such an experienced player (Vermeulen) playing alongside you is amazing. To learn from him is a real privilege,” said Wiese.

“But the competition is always tight. I don’t think any spot is guaranteed. But it has been a massive privilege for me laying alongside everyone here, especially Duane. He has years of experience and there is so much I can learn from him.”

The Boks will also hope that their decision to fly straight to Argentina from Australia will pay off, with the extra time in the country helping them get acclimated.

“The management wanted to get us here as quickly as possible to get us in the mindset of still having a job to do. So we are back training now, which has been good. It’s a little bit warmer here than in Australia. But the environment is good and everyone knows what they have to do,” explained Wiese.

The Boks take on the Pumas on Saturday September 17 at 9:10pm, before closing out their Rugby Championship campaign against the same opponents in Durban a week later.

Access premium news and stories

Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits