Pretoria - The Springboks kept a spirited Argentina at bay to claim a nervous
13-6 victory in a weather-affected Rugby Championship match
As it happened: Boks v Pumas
An almost unprecedented Highveld shower for the
middle of August descended on Loftus Versfeld and played a major part in
the overall quality of the spectacle.
The humid Pretoria air should have been an early warning that the capital city would experience a rare winter shower.
hour before kick-off the rainclouds gathered and grew darker
approaching the start and as the sides sang the anthems rain
and hail bucketed down.
However, the unexpected inclement weather seemed
to have little influence on South Africa as the side pounced from the
first kick of the ball.
Receiving the ball from the whistle, the
Boks took the ball up to where it went to the blindside to Cornal
Hendricks, beating his man before off-loading to Ruan Pienaar, who darted
from the 22 to scored the try.
Pollard added the two points to ensure the Boks a seven-point lead with only a minute-and-a-half gone on the stadium clock.
there on, rain proved once again to be the great equaliser as the match
unravelled due to a complement of handling errors from both teams as
the rain continued unabated throughout the first half.
tourists got onto the scoreboard in the seventh minute courtesy of a
penalty conversion by Argentine flyhalf Nicolas Sanchez shortly after
Pollard missed with his attempt at goal.
Although the weather was a nuisance to both teams, Argentina seemed to handle the conditions slightly better.
The visitors had South Africa's number in the scrums, while the lineouts also did not provide much comfort to the hosts.
Pollard returned the lead to seven points in the 16th minute which remained that way for the rest of the half.
South Africa should have gone into the half-time break with a larger advantage after some opportunities went to waste.
The Boks came painstakingly close to scoring on two occasions with fullback Willie le Roux fumbling a chip-and-chase ball five metres from the line, while Pollard knocked the ball with an open tryline.
home side employed a kicking tactic to counter the wet conditions but
they ultimately lacked in execution as the ball placement was poor on
Argentina closed the gap shortly after the
restart with Sanchez, who was a pest on attack as he broke the line a
few times, adding a three-pointer to the score to reduced the deficit to
four points in the 42nd minute.
Eight minutes later, Pollard's replacement, Morne Steyn, returned South Africa's lead to seven points with a penalty conversion.
this stage the rain had abated to a trickle and the Boks seem to run
the ball instead of kicking the ball into the opposition's hands.
final 10 minutes of the encounter developed into a tense arm-wrestle as
Argentina chipped away at the Boks' defences and into their half.
six minutes left on the clock the visitors earned a penalty and kicked
for the line where they set up a lineout five metres from the line.
Boks managed to get out of jail and managed to avert the second Rugby
Championship draw of the day after New Zealand and Australia played to a
12-12 stalemate earlier on Saturday.
undeterred and continued probing and again the visitors came close to
scoring when a Steyn clearance kick was charged down before debutant
Damian de Allende snatched the ball from the hands of an Argentine player
inside the goal area.
Just short of a minute from time Argentina
again formed an attacking lineout five metres from the line and
launched attack on the line but a handling error brought the match to a
Although the wet weather had an impact on the
match, Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer would be anything but satisfied
with the performance.Scorers:
Try: Ruan Pienaar
Conversion: Handre Pollard
Penalties: Pollard, Morne Steyn
Penalties: Nicolas Sanchez (2)
15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Damian de Allende, 12 Jean de Villiers (captain), 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Duane Vermeulen,
7 Marcell Coetzee, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis (vice-captain), 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Eben Etzebeth,
20 Teboho “Oupa” Mohoje, 21 Francois Hougaard, 22 Morné Steyn, 23 Jan Serfontein
15 Joaquin Tuculet, 14 Horacio Agulla, 13 Marcelo Bosch, 12 Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias, 11 Manuel Montero, 10 Nicolas Sanchez, 9 Martin Landajo, 8 Juan Manuel Leguizamon, 7 Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Tomas Lavanini, 4 Mariano Galarza, 3 Ramiro Herrera, 2 Agustin Creevy (captain), 1 Marcos Ayerza
Substitutes: 16 Matias Cortese, 17 Lucas Noguera Paz, 18 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 19 Matias Alemanno, 20 Leonardo Senatore, 21 Tomas Cubelli, 22 Jeronimo de la Fuente, 23 Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino
Referee: John Lacey (IRL)