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South Africa grind out victory over Argentina

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The Springboks beat Argentina 23-41 at the Estadio Padre Ernesto Martearena in Salta.

This was the fifth win for Allister Coetzee’s men, who are starting to build some momentum.

The Springboks lost in Salta last year, and only managed a two-point victory in 2014.

South Africa outscored their hosts five tries to two in a game that lurched from the sublime to the scrappy.

The Boks, who traditionally play in a white away jersey wore a red jersey for the first time to commemorate 25 years of unity in South African rugby.

Man of the Match Siya Kolisi starred, grabbing a brace, while Elton Jantjies collected a try, two penalties and four conversions for a match haul of 19 points.

South Africa led by seven at the break. Kolisi and Jantjies scored either side of Ramiro Moyano’s five-pointer.

Tomás Lavanini was shown two yellow cards, one in each half. The second for a deliberate knockdown, which resulted in his red and a penalty try for the visitors.

Juan Manuel Leguizamón was also carded for multiple infringements, as well as Andries Coetzee for the Springboks.

The fullback was involved in a minor scuffle after his mistake led to Matías Moroni’s 60th-minute score.

Emiliano Boffelli kicked two long range penalties to keep his team in the hunt, but it was not enough.

Eventually, with the clock ticking down, the home team tiring with 14 men on the field, the Boks supplied the final dagger.

Jean-Luc du Preez crashed over in the corner with a minute remaining, giving South Africa a well deserved, and ultimately, comfortable victory.

The match did not start well for the away side. Boffelli’s big boot gave his team a 3-0 lead in the fourth minute. Jantjies tried twice to level the scores but his radar was off.

Argentina’s ill-discipline was evident from the start and Lavanini was soon in the bin for a no arms tackle.

South Africa was struggling to get into the game as Daniel Hourcade’s men targeted the breakdown with their usual physicality.

Then came a moment of magic from the Springboks backline.

From a lineout inside their host’s half, they conjured a try out of the Lions’ playbook.

Jantjies took the ball near the gain-line and dinked a sublime kick over the top of the defenders for Jesse Kriel.

The centre gathered and sent Kolisi away for his first try of the game. The flanker raced all the way to score under the sticks for a rare first-phase score.

Jantjies converted, and soon added a penalty, which increased the visitor’s lead to 3-10.

But, from the restart, Argentina capitalised on some sloppy play by South Africa.

A regulation drop-out from Hernández, kicking into the Boks’ 22, resulted in a mix-up. Jesse Kriel misjudged the flight and the bounce.

Moyano, chasing, collected the loose ball and was in for the home team’s first try. Hernández levelled the scores.

Then, the Boks thought they had scored, but referee Pascal Gauzere called the fullback back for a forward pass in the build up.

By now, the French official was losing his patience with Los Pumas. He called captain Agustín Creevy and warned him that the next infringement would result in a yellow card.

It did not take long before Leguizamón was off, the No 8 could not help himself.

From the penalty, came a lineout drive and try. Jantjies scored, giving his side a seven-point halftime cushion, just before the interval.

Hourcade’s halftime talk seemed to work. His chargers came out hard and fast, battering the Bok lines.

Hernández reduced the deficit to four, with a penalty from close range.

A moment of inspiration by South Africa saw them counter-attack from their goal-line and go 99 metres down the field for Kolisi’s double.

Malcolm Marx, who was again excellent started the counter. Matías Orlando’s knock on was gathered by the hooker and sent wide to Coetzee.

The fullback charged forward, playing Courtnall Skosan on his outside. The flyer cut back inside, popped back to Coetzee, who was tackled.

The Boks recycled quickly and went wide to the right. Jesse Kriel, at halfback, threw a skipped pass to Jantjies.

South Africa’s playmaker saw the overlap on his outside and swung a long, double-skip pass to Kolisi.

The flanker played a one-two with Jaco Kriel, who drew the defender before offloading back to Kolisi, on his shoulder. The Stormers skipper then sped away to score under the posts.

Jantjies’ conversion extended the Springboks’ lead to 11.

Argentina soon started to lose their composure.

Yet another Bok attack was thwarted, but it was an illegal infraction by Lavanini. He deliberately knocked down Serfontein’s pass to Pieter-Steph du Toit.

Du Toit had Kolisi on his outside. Had the ball not been palmed away, it would have been a certain try.

A second yellow resulted in a red card for the lock, however, before he departed, he scuffled with Du Toit.

Consequently, Argentina’s woes continued when the referee awarded a penalty try; 13-31 and game over.

However, the home team hit back. Andries Coetzee misjudged a high ball from Nicolás Sánchez, collided with Joaquín Tuculet, and lost the ball.

Martín Landajo toed the ball forward, gathered and sent Moroni, who was in support, away in the corner.

After Moroni dotted down, Andries Coetzee hit him late, starting an altercation behind the dead-ball line. The fullback was promptly shown a yellow card, before trudging to the sideline.

It was a triple blow, too. Mr Gauzere awarded the home team a penalty on the halfway line.

Up stepped Boffelli, from straight in front, the wing slotted the kick. In two minutes, Argentina had scored 10 points.

Los Pumas should have made the two-time World champions pay. Instead, it was the visitors who upped the ante.

Marx won a penalty at the breakdown, Jantjies called for the tee, and extended his side’s lead.

Argentina tried to run from every where, but as the game started to break up, South Africa had the final say.

Damian de Allende and Jesse Kriel combined, putting Du Preez away for his first Test try.

Final Score: Argentina 23 (10) South Africa 41 (17)

Scorers

Argentina
Tries – Moyano, Moroni
Pen – Boffelli (2), Hernández
Con – Hernández (2)
Drop –
Cards – Lavanini (Yellow, 10th minute; Yellow, 57th minute – Red), Leguizamón (Yellow, 37th minute)

South Africa
Tries – Kolisi (2), Jantjies, Penalty Try, Du Preez
Pen – Jantjies (2)
Con – Jantjies (4)
Drop –
Cards – Coetzee (Yellow, 60th minute)

Match Officials
Referee: Pascal Gauzere (FFR)
Assistant Ref 1: Romain Poite (FFR)
Assistant Ref 2: Nic Berry (ARU)
TMO: Glenn Newman (NZR)

Teams

Argentina

15 Joaquín Tuculet, 14 Ramiro Moyano, 13 Matías Orlando, 12 Jerónimo de la Fuente, 11 Emiliano Boffelli, 10 Juan Martín Hernández, 9 Tomás Cubelli, 8 Juan Manuel Leguizamón, 7 Tomás Lezana, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Tomás Lavanini, 4 Matías Alemanno, 3 Ramiro Herrera, 2 Agustín Creevy (captain), 1 Lucas Noguera.

Replacements: 16 Julián Montoya, 17 Santiago García Botta, 18 Enrique Pieretto, 19 Marcos Kremer, 20 Javier Ortega Desio, 21 Martín Landajo, 22 Nicolás Sánchez, 23 Matías Moroni.

South Africa

15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Raymond Rhule, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Zaire Cassiem, 7 Jaco Kriel, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Eben Etzebeth (captain), 3 Coenraad Oosthuizen, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.

Replacements: 16 Mbongeni Mbonambi, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Trevor Nyakane, 19 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 20 Jean-Luc du Preez, 21 Rudy Paige, 22 Curwin Bosch, 23 Damian de Allende

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