The Baby Boks finished eighth at the U19 World Championship after being smashed 26-7 by Argentina on Friday night. It was their fourth defeat in five matches.
“The whole tournament for us has been a disappointment from the beginning,” said coach Eugene Eloff after the match. “We need to take it on the chin and carry on. To win you need to work hard.â€
The Boks trailed 12-7 at half time, but the game was still wide open and they had two disallowed tries soon after the restart which prevented them from taking the lead. Instead it was Argentina who stretched their advantage with a try 10 minutes into the second half by No 8 Tomas Cristian Leonardi, converted by flyhalf Ignacio Mieres.
South Africa were still very much in the game and kept pressing to reduce the deficit, only to see Argentina break away and go even further ahead through a try by fullback Francisco Rhorer, again converted by Mieres.
Both sides showed pace and flair with the Baby Boks throwing everything into attack, but playing catch-up produced too many errors and they were unable to add to their points tally despite repeated assaults on the Argentine line.
Even after replacement lock Hendrik Koekemoer was yellow-carded eight minutes from time, the South Africans still looked threatening but to no avail.
Argentinaâ€™s early points came from a sixth minute try by flanker Antonio Ahualli, with South Africa replying after 19 minutes when scrumhalf Conrad Hoffman converted his own try.
Mieres had missed the conversion for Argentina, and later a penalty, but added the extra points to a 27th minute try by flanker Juan Pablo Ruiz, which gave them an advantage they would never surrender.
Argentina – Tries: Guillermo Roan, Juan Pablo Ruiz, TomÃ¡s Cristian Leonardi, Francisco Rhorer. Conversions: Ignacio Mieres (3).
South Africa – Try: Conrad Hoffmann. Conversion: Hoffmann.