Strauss’s star shines bright

The Boks were brutal and ruthless. The Pumas were pathetic.

Bok coach Heyneke Meyer demanded a ruthless Bok performance and that is what the boys in green and gold produced.

A criticism of the Boks in the past has been that they haven’t put away half-decent opposition and that they have lacked mongrel.

Not on Saturday. This was as ruthless as they’ve been in a long time.

Springbok hooker Adriaan Strauss was the pick of a good home team forward effort, but the backs precision in the first half couldn’t match the forward dominance. It improved in the second half as the Pumas folded.

The Boks won 73-13 after leading 26-6 after 40 minutes.

Fourie du Preez also played for the last 30 minutes and looked like he had never left the international arena.

Morne Steyn only missed one kick from 13 in his 28 points and the potent Bok bench provided impact and spark.

Duane Vermeulen improved with each minute and captain Jean de Villiers was composed and assured.

The Boks scored nine tries to one against a Pumas side that looked out of their depth.

The Boks have never struggled against the Pumas in South Africa. On occasion, like with the 16-all draw in Mendoza a year ago, it has been a lot more difficult against the Pumas in Argentina.

In South Africa, though, the only question is whether the winning margin will be closer to 20 points or 40.

On Saturday it was always going to threaten 50-plus points as the Boks were never challenged in any facet of play.

The last time the teams met in Mendoza the Boks struggled to match the Pumas intensity and the passion of a home team hosting their first ever Rugby Championship match.

The Pumas offered neither passion nor poise in Soweto.

The Boks, by contrast, looked world class.

Springboks – Tries: Penalty try, JJ Engelbrecht, Adriaan Strauss, Willem Alberts, Jean de Villiers, Fourie du Preez, Bryan Habana, Duane Vermeulen, Bismarck du Plessis. Conversions: Morné Steyn (8). Penalties: Morné Steyn (4).
Argentina – Try: Felipe Contepomi. Conversion: Contepomi. Penalties: Contepomi (2).

Springboks – 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Bjorn Basson, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jean de Villiers (c), 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Juandré Kruger, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Subs - 16 Bismarck du Plessis, 17 Gurthrö Steenkamp, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Flip van der Merwe, 20 Siya Kolisi, 21 Fourie du Preez, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 Jan Serfontein.

Argentina – 15 Juan Martin Hernandez, 14 Gonzalo Camacho, 13 Marcelo Bosch, 12 Felipe Contepomi (c), 11 Juan Imhoff, 10 Nicolas Sanchez, 9 Martin Landajo, 8 Leonardo Senatore, 7 Juan Manuel Leguizamon, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Patricio Albacete, 4 Manuel Carizza, 3 Matías Diaz, 2 Eusebio Guinazu, 1 Juan Figallo.
Subs – 16 Agustín Creevy, 17 Nahuel Lobo, 18 Juan Pablo Orlandi, 19 Mariano Galarza, 20 Julio Farias Cabello, 21 Tomas Cubelli, 22 Santiago Fernandez, 23 Horacio Agulla.