Rugby Championship

Late Springbok fightback floors Pumas

2016-08-20 18:51
Elton Jantjies (Gallo)

Nelspruit - A last-gasp Warren Whiteley try gave South Africa a dramatic 30-23 victory over Argentina in a thrilling Rugby Championship first-round match in Nelspruit on Saturday.

As it happened: Springboks v Argentina

Trailing by 10 points with 10 minutes left, the Springboks fought back to score two tries and avenge a stunning home loss to the Pumas in the corresponding fixture last season.

Recalled fullback Johan Goosen triggered the fightback with a try created by scrumhalf and man of the match Faf de Klerk.

And with less than one minute left, No 8 Whiteley dived over in the corner to give the hosts a winning start over brave opponents who secured a losing bonus point.

In the opening match of the Championship earlier on Saturday, world champions New Zealand thrashed Australia 42-8 in Sydney.

South Africa had the first scoring chance on a pitch made slippery by pre-match rain, but flyhalf Elton Jantjies pulled his kick wide of the right post.

However, from the drop-out the Springboks took the lead with Jantjies bursting past two defenders and Goosen sent right wing Ruan Combrinck over in the corner.

Jantjies atoned for his penalty miss by converting from the touchline to give the home side a seven-point lead as they sought revenge for a 37-25 loss in Durban last year.

Rival flyhalves Nicolas Sanchez and Jantjies traded penalties and South Africa led 10-3 midway through the opening half.

Giant Argentine left wing Manuel Montero was sin-binned on 22 minutes for lifting South African centre Damian de Allende and then flinging him to the ground.

But it did not prove to be a setback as the South Americans scored 10 unanswered points when reduced to 14 players.

Sanchez slotted a penalty and then superb handling between backs and forwards culminated in centre Matias Orlando diving over for a try Sanchez converted.

South Africa fluffed chances to score again before half-time in front of a 27 500 crowd.

Jantjies missed two penalties, one of which came back off a post, and centre Lionel Mapoe lost the ball over the tryline, leaving the Pumas 13-10 ahead at the break.

There was a further blow for the Springboks six minutes into the second half when veteran Bryan Habana was sin-binned after an aerial collision with fellow winger Santiago Cordero.

But the twice former world champions survived being numerically disadvantaged and kept the Argentines scoreless while a man down.

Jantjies and Sanchez traded penalties before the Pumas went 23-13 ahead through a try by Cordero that Sanchez converted.

A four-minute purple patch for South Africa brought the teams level as Goosen scored and Jantjies slotted a conversion and a penalty.

Whiteley then scored the crucial try which Jantjies also converted from the touchline.


South Africa
Combrinck, Goosen, Whiteley
Jantjies 3
Jantjies 3
Yellow Card:

Orlando, Cordero
Sanchez 2
Sanchez 3
Yellow Card:


South Africa

15 Johan Goosen, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Oupa Mohoje, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Julian Redelinghuys, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Tendai Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 20 Jaco Kriel, 21 Rudy Paige, 22 Juan de Jongh, 23, Jesse Kriel


15 Joaquín Tuculet, 14 Santiago Cordero, 13 Matías Orlando, 12 Juan Martín Hernández, 11 Manuel Montero, 10 Nicolás Sánchez, 9 Martín Landajo, 8 Facundo Isa, 7 Juan Manuel Leguizamon, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Tomas Lavanini, 4 Matías Alemanno, 3 Ramiro Herrera, 2 Agustín Creevy (captain), 1 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro

Substitutes: 16 Julián Montoya, 17 Felipe Arregui, 18 Enrique Pieretto, 19 Guido Petti, 20 Javier Ortega Desio, 21 Tomás Cubelli, 22 Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias, 23 Ramiro Moyano


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