But carrying retiring greats and 2007 World Cup-winners Victor Matfield, Schalk Burger and Bryan Habana off their final Test pitch victorious - and gaining some consolation for sidelined squad captains Fourie du Preez and Jean de Villiers - means everything, so back South Africa to beat an injury-ravaged Argentina side by nine points or more at the Olympic Stadium on Friday night.
Ryan Pienaar (Scrum-Half for du Preez) and Matfield (Lock for Lood de Jager) are the only changes for the Springboks from their Saturday semi-final battle with the All Blacks, whereas the Pumas are without six players because of injuries sustained in Sunday's loss to Australia and three more because of their exertions over the whole tournament.
This should mean better early cohesion and structure for the Boks, who have had any assumptions of superiority knocked out of them not just by their opening Saturday of the tournament loss to Japan but by their August Rugby Championship 37-25 defeat by Argentina in Durban. Kings Park hat-trick hero Juan Imhoff is one of the Pumas' injuries and South Africa avenged that Durban defeat decisively in a Buenos Aires World Cup warm-up the following week. Also they will be more prepared for expansive play from the Pumas as well as being up to speed from video analysis on how the Wallabies picked off an early intercept try through Rob Simmons on Sunday and thrived out wide, with Adam Ashley-Cooper claiming a hat-trick, from broken and phase play.
Habana has to be backed at 6-4 to score the try that will see him stand alone at the top of the career World Cup tries table on 16. And there are far worse value bets too than the 6-1 available about two or more tries and the 28-1 available about a Habana hat-trick.
Habana has five tries in the tournament including a treble against the USA and has scored eight tries in 11 matches against Argentina including two in their 2007 World Cup semi-final success and dot downs in Durban and Buenos Aires.
Since bowing to the Brave Blossoms, South Africa's forwards have been superb in the loose, particularly at the rolling maul so they could try to give skipper for the day Matfield and Burger five-pointers to finish with too. Burger has scored two tries this tournament and Matfield is not the only focus of throws at the lineout where Eben Etzebeth, Burger and Duane Vermuelen are commanding leapers. De Jager scored a close-range try against Argentina in Durban after a Burger catch.
These Pumas have pizazz with Nicolas Sanchez at Fly-Half and remain powerful and proud with their own surely about-to-retire stars in backrowers Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe and Juan Manuel Leguizamon and Horacio Agulla, who played against the Boks in Paris eight years ago. But this looks a match too far for Argentina with skipper and Hooker Agustin Creevy and Centres Juan Martin Hernandez, a fourth 2007 semi-finalist, and Marcelo Bosch in the stands.