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Springboks tame the Pumas in Rugby Championship




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The Springboks started their Rugby Championship campaign with a comfortable 27-6 victory over newcomers Argentina at Newlands in Cape Town.

The match was Argentina’s Pumas first match in the newly expanded Rugby Championship which replaced the TriNations.

The result takes the Springboks to the top of the Rugby Championship standings after the first round as they have a greater points differential than the All Blacks.

While the Springboks won the match comfortably they will be frustrated that they were unable to score a fourth try which would have earned them a bonus point.

The Springboks led 20-6 at half-time and Argentina missed three early second half penalty attempts before Bryan Habana scored the Test-clinching third try.

It was the Boks’ 14th consecutive triumph over the South American tourists, but the Pumas put up strong resistance against their more revered opponents.

The hosts scored 20 points in the first half but could not land a proper knock-out blow as they let the possibility of a bonus point fade away.

The South Africans nevertheless played a safe tactical game as they chipped away at Argentina’s defences with good tactical kicking spearheaded by scrumhalf Francois Hougaard.

While the scoreline may suggest the Boks had a free pass to the tryline, it was anything but a walkover.

The Argentines threw down the gauntlet but they squandered chances as the Boks opened up an early gap.

The home side drew first blood with a penalty conversion by flyhalf Morne Steyn four minutes into the match.

His counterpart, Juan Martin Hernandez, returned the favour 10 minutes later to uphold the status quo.

The Springboks finally pierced the Pumas’ defence with fullback Zane Kirchner crossing the whitewash after 17 minutes.

Hougaard took a quick tap from a scrum penalty, passing the ball to Steyn, who drew some defenders and offloaded to Kirchner to score.

With the Boks comfortably holding onto a 10-point lead, captain Jean de Villiers opted for a line-kick rather than a penalty conversion.

This signalled South Afica’s intention to land a psychological blow as the half-time break approached.

The bold decision proved to be fruitful as flanker Marcel Coetzee scored his maiden try in a Bok jersey from the back of a driving maul from the lineout, with Steyn converting.

The Pumas added three more points before the recess with Hernandez succeeding from a penalty conversion.

The tourists, however, let three good chances slip away with three unsuccessful penalty conversion attempts.

The Boks struck their final blow in the 56th minute when Bryan Habana did well to chase and field a Steyn cross-kick to score in the right-hand corner, with the flyhalf converting.

Steyn’s performance was almost a vindication for his form in the June Test series against England. He succeeded with all of his kicks at goal, while his tactical kicking was also on target.

Final Score South Africa 27 (20) Argentina 6 (6).


South Africa
Tries – Z. Kirchner, M. Coetzee, B. Habana
Pen – M. Steyn 2
Con – M. Steyn 3
Drop –
Cards –

Tries –
Pen – JM. Hernandez 2
Con –
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: S. Walsh (ARU)
Assistant Ref 1: J. Garces (FFR)
Assistant Ref 2: J. Lacey (IRFU)
TMO: J. Meuwsen (SARU)


South Africa

15. Zane Kirchner, 14. Lwazi Mvovo, 13. Jean de Villiers, 12. Frans Steyn, 11. Bryan Habana, 10. Morné Steyn, 9. Francois Hougaard, 8. Keegan Daniel, 7. Willem Alberts, 6. Marcell Coetzee, 5. Andries Bekker, 4. Eben Etzebeth, 3. Jannie du Plessis, 2. Bismarck du Plessis, 1. Tendai Mtawarira.

Replacements: 16. Adriaan Strauss, 17. Pat Cilliers, 18. Flip van der Merwe, 19. Jacques Potgieter, 20. Ruan Pienaar, 21. Pat Lambie, 22. JJ Engelbrecht.


15. Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino, 14. Gonzalo Camacho, 13. Marcelo Bosch, 12. Santiago Fernandez, 11. Horacio Agulla, 10. Juan Martin Hernandez, 9. Nicolas Vergallo, 8. Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe (c), 7. Alvaro Galindo, 6. Julio Farias Cabello, 5. Patricio Albacete, 4. Manuel Carizza, 3. Juan Figallo, 2. Eusebio Guinazu, 1. Rodrigo Roncero

Replacements: 16. Bruno Postiglioni, 17. Marcos Ayerza, 18. Juan Pablo Orlandi, 19. Tomas Leonardi, 20. Leonardo Senatore, 21. Martin Landajo, 22. Martin Rodriguez

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