Sánchez stars in famous Argentina win over South Africa




Argentina upset South Africa 32-19 with a dominant display at Estadio Malvinas Argentinas, Mendoza.

Nicolás Sánchez starred for Los Pumas, collecting a rugby “full-house” with a commanding outing at first receiver.

The 29-year-old scored a try, three conversions, a penalty and dropped-goal, leading his side to a famous and historic win over the Springboks.

It is the second time in Test matches that the Jaguares flyhalf has done this – only Johnny Wilkenson (3 times) has achieved this feat more than him.

Mendoza has not been a happy hunting ground for the two-times World Champions.

They had previously been losing at the interval on three of their past three matches, prior to today.

The 13-point victory is only the third positive result for the Pumas over the green and gold.

Bautista Delguy grabbed a first-half brace as the Boks wilted in the South American sunshine, trailing by 20 points after an abject opening 40 minutes.

Siya Kolisi crashed over, slipping Sánchez’s weak tackle – the only blip in a superb flyhalf performance – to give the visitors a 3-7 15th-minute lead.

South Africa fought back after the break with two tries from Lionel Mapoe after Ramiro Moyano’s early second-half score, but the damage was done.

They missed 32 tackles, lost three lineouts and two scrums.

Argentina is the proverbial mercurial. Maradona mixed with Malbec; Messi and Milanesa Napolitana; the Tango crossed with the Paso Doble.

It was Sánchez who had South Africa on strings – while it may not have been Beauden Barrett, it was brilliant.

Rassie Erasmus was not happy afterwards. What Boks coach would be?

However, he acknowledged his team’s short-comings while praising the home team.

He said he got it wrong: boy did he get it wrong.

Take nothing away from Argentina, or their coach Mario Ledesma.

The former hooker got his tactics spot on. He got his players in the right frame of mind; he got everything right.

They outscored their opponents four tries to three, and even then both of Mapoe’s tries came after the result was sealed.

All this with only 40 percent possession and 35 percent territory.

Argentina often take early leads only to let them slip. His side came out firing as always.

Sánchez kicked an early penalty before Handré Pollard, usually so reliable from the tee, shanked his own first attempt from in front.

The Bok 10 had a nightmare with the boot, last week and he started poorly again.

South Africa, as always, hit back, taking the lead when their captain crossed the whitewash to put his chargers in front.

Kolisi slipped Sánchez’s tackle to give his team the lead.

Delguy finished off a wonderful move, beating Aphiwe Dyantyi to the try line to put his side back in front.

It was a superb linebreak from Emiliano Boffelli to set up the winger.

The flyer was at it again, scoring three minutes later.

It came from a big right shoulder and an attack down the right-hand touchline.

Javier Ortega Desio broke blind to set up the score after a powerful scrum.

Argentina was in control of the tempo and running Erasmus’ side ragged.

The hosts dominated the collisions, breakdown and set pieces and the visitors were leaking tackles all over the park.

Things went from bad to worse for the tourists.

Eben Etzebeth, a powerhouse in last week’s victory was sent to the sin-bin for a professional foul on his try line.

Los Pumas capitalised, scoring another five-pointer.

They used their extra man to good effect as Man of the Match Sánchez swallow-dived to scenes of delirium in the crowd.

The flyhalf came close to going over the dead-ball line, but the review showed he had loads of space.

With the scores still close, Kolisi might have opted to take the points on offer when their host’s infringed.

Instead, they threw away three points twice, giving away a chance to stay in the contest.

Sánchez made the Springboks pay, kicking a monster drop-kick that took the heart and soul from the visitors.

Leading by 20 points at the start of the second half, you would have forgiven both teams for thinking the result was a foregone conclusion.

Moyano raced away down the touchline for his side’s fourth – and game-clinching try to make it 32-7.

Mapoe crossed twice to give the scoreline some sort of respectability, but it made no difference.

The Boks were out-matched, out-played and out-classed.

Argentina versus South Africa video highlights

Final score: Argentina 32 (27) South Africa 19 (7)


Tries – Delguy (2), Sánchez, Moyano
Pen – Sánchez
Con – Sánchez (3)
Drop – Sánchez
Cards –

South Africa
Tries – Kolisi, Mapoe (2)
Pen –
Con – Pollard (2)
Drop –
Cards – Etzebeth (Yellow, 25′)

Match Officials
Referee: Angus Gardner (ARU)
Assistant Ref 1: Ben O’Keeffe (NZRU)
Assistant Ref 2: Andrew Brace (IRFU)
TMO: Simon McDowell (IRFU)



15 Emiliano Boffelli, 14 Bautista Delguy, 13 Matías Moroni, 12 Bautista Ezcurra, 11 Ramiro Moyano, 10 Nicolás Sánchez, 9 Gonzalo Bertranou, 8 Javier Ortega Desio, 7 Marcos Kremer, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Tomás Lavanini, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Juan Figallo, 2 Agustín Creevy (captain), 1 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro.

Replacements: 16 Facundo Bosch, 17 Santiago García Botta, 18 Santiago Medrano, 19 Matias Alemanno, 20 Tomás Lezana, 21 Tomás Cubelli, 22 Jerónimo de la Fuente, 23 Juan Cruz Mallia.

South Africa

15 Willie le Roux, 14 Makazole Mapimpi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 André Esterhuizen, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Francois de Klerk, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Siya Kolisi (captain), 6 Francois Louw, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.

Replacements: 16 Mbongeni Mbonambi, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 Rudolph Snyman, 20 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Lionel Mapoe, 23 Damian Willemse.

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