South Africa 32 Argentina 12
South Africa coach Jacques Nienaber was pleased with his much-changed side in their 32-12 Rugby Championship victory over Argentina in Nelson Mandela Bay on Saturday, but said they need to work on their continuity after a scrappy encounter.
The world champion Springboks scored three tries to secure a bonus point, while their defence held firm to keep the industrious visitors at bay.
Nienaber made 10 changes to the team that beat the British & Irish Lions last weekend, bringing in a number of players who had not seen any action in that series, and conceded that lack of game time led to a high error count from the hosts.
Cobus Reinach and wing Aphelele Fassi scored first-half tries, while replacement scrumhalf Jaden Hendrikse scored a late try from on debut. Outhalf Elton Jantjies kicked 17 points, while opposite number Nicholas Sanchez scored all the visitors' points with four penalties.
“It was a massive effort from the guys, they were excellent in what we planned to do today,” Bok coach Jacques Nienaber told reporters. “The nice thing when you make so many changes is there is lot of energy and bodies are fresh.”
"We will work on the continuity for next week. Wilco Louw last played in English Premiership final [on June 26th], Joseph Dweba has not played for five weeks, other guys the same. Jesse Kriel started cramping today and he is one of our fittest players.
“They have not played a lot of rugby, so it is important to get game time and then the continuity will come.”
The Boks still have eight matches scheduled for the international season and Nienaber said it is vital he continues to use his expanded squad with difficult trips to Australia and New Zealand, and autumn internationals in Europe to come.
But he also expects Argentina to be a step up next weekend too.
“They are proud team and it’s tough to break them down. They are tactically good with very good coaches and they will definitely come back at us,” Nienaber said.
“This is only their second loss in eight matches since the World Cup and they have played New Zealand, Australia and Wales twice each.”
The teams meet at the same venue next Saturday before they head to the Australasian leg of the competition.