South Africa wake from slumber to run in six tries against Argentina

Rassie Erasmus’s side get off to another slow start in Durban

  Argentina flanker Pablo Matera  is tackled by South Africa’s Andre Esterhuizen and  Willie  le Roux  during the Rugby Championship game at Kings Park Stadium in Durban. Photograph: Christiaan Kotze/AFP

Argentina flanker Pablo Matera is tackled by South Africa’s Andre Esterhuizen and Willie le Roux during the Rugby Championship game at Kings Park Stadium in Durban. Photograph: Christiaan Kotze/AFP

 

South Africa 34 Argentina 21

Wingers Aphiwe Dyantyi and Makazole Mapimpi scored two tries each as South Africa rallied in the second half to beat Argentina 34-21 in their Rugby Championship opener in Durban after another slow start.

The Springboks out-scored the Pumas by six tries to three but again made heavy work of their victory before finishing strongly.

Lukhanyo Am and Faf de Klerk claimed South Africa’s other tries while Nicolas Sanchez, Pablo Matera and Matias Moroni crossed the line for Argentina.

The Boks continued a trend set in the first two matches of their three-Test series against England in June when they went behind early and were forced to come back to win.

Argentina outhalf Nicolas Sanchez kicks under pressure from South Africa’s Malcolm Marx and Handre Pollard during the Rugby Championship game at Kings Park Stadium in Durban. Photograph: Rogan Ward/Reuters
Argentina outhalf Nicolas Sanchez kicks under pressure from South Africa’s Malcolm Marx and Handre Pollard during the Rugby Championship game at Kings Park Stadium in Durban. Photograph: Rogan Ward/Reuters

“We didn’t start well as we made a lot of mistakes which was disappointing because we’ve been working hard on our discipline over the last weeks,” South Africa captain Siya Kolisi said.

“But as much as we were making mistakes, the effort gets better every week.”

The Springboks were 14-5 behind after 30 minutes but by half-time had reduced the deficit to four points and scored four tries after the interval to ensure a winning start to the annual southern hemisphere competition.

But there will be concerns for coach Rassie Erasmus after outhalf Handre Pollard kicked over just one of six attempts at posts and the hosts, turning down kickable penalties to go for touch instead, botched the resultant close-in lineouts.

Am opened the scoring after eight minutes but Argentina hit back quickly as they took advantage of errors to see Sanchez and Matera over the tryline.

Dyantyi, named man of the match, carried over a superb cross field kick from Willie le Roux to launch the home recovery before the break and two minutes after the interval went over again as the Boks took control.

Mapimpi, in his second Test, scored two tries in a five- minute spell soon after before Moroni’s intercept try reduced the home lead to 27-21 with just over 10 minutes left.

De Klerk, however, darted over for the sixth home try as consistent pressure wore down the Pumas defence.

The teams meet again in Mendoza next week.

SOUTH AFRICA: W le Roux; M Mapimpi, L Am, A Esterhuizen, A Dyantyi; H Pollard, F de Klerk; T Mtawarira, M Marx, F Malherbe; E Etzebeth, P-S du Toit; F Louw, S Kolisi, W Whiteley.

Replacements: S Kitshoff for Mtawarira (52 mins), T du Toit for Malherbe (58), M van Staden for Louw (60), D Willemse for Esterhuizen (63), M Mbonambi for Marx (65), L Mapoe for An (73), E Papier for A Dyantyi (74). Not used: M Orie

ARGENTINA: E Boffelli; B Delguy, M Moroni, B Ezcurra, R Moyano; N Sanchez, G Bertranou; N Tetaz Chaparro, A Creevy, J Figallo; G Petti Pagadizaval, M Alemanno; P Matera, M Kremer, J Ortega Desio.

Replacements: S Garcia Botta for Tetaz Chaparro, T Lezana for Matera (both 51 mins), T Lavanini for Alemanno (54), S Medrano for Figallo, M Landajo for Bertranou (both 63), D Fortuny for Creevy (72), S Gonzalez Iglesias for Ezcurra (80). Not used: J Cruz Mallia.

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