The Nelson Mandela Bay stadium lies on the Eastern Cape in the city of Gqeberha once known “in old money” as Port Elizabeth.
Gqeberha is the Xhosa name for the Baakens River, which flows through the city.
Xhosa is one of South Africa’s 11 official languages and one of the few in the world that has a “click” sound, which can be difficult for non-Xhosa speakers to master. when the city changed its name on 23 February 2021, many South Africans had to obtain assistance in learning how to master the pronunciation of the country’s sixth most populated city.
Facing the Indian Ocean the city’s warm climate provides it with a wonderful all year round outdoor vibe, it is also the birthplace of Springbok captain Siyamthanda Kolisi.
The Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium was purpose-built for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, a year later, the Springboks made their debut at the 46,000-seat stadium, against the All Blacks, when Morne Steyn kicked five penalty goals and a drop to score all the Boks’ points in their 18-5 victory.
In 2017 Argentina played their first match at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium losing to the Boks 37-15 win in front of a capacity crowd, a not dissimilar score line to the Boks 32-12 victory last in the first test.
This week the Boks were back to full strength an ominous sign for the Argentinians, who also rotated their squad .
Despite optimistic overtures of a free flowing game, 13 first half penalties conceded by the Pumas added to a turgid first 40 minutes.
5 penalties from Pollard gave the Boks a 15-3 half time lead. The second half at least had three tries to lift it from the paint drying visual comparison, Mapimpi and Marx for South Africa, and after several butchered opportunities the Pumas touched down in the 80th minute via Montera.
All in all a pretty drab affair which has been the hallmark of all the Sprinbok matches this summer, but I guess with 5 wins out of 6 they won’t care too much about artistic merit.