A last-minute try by wing Rodrigo Ponce De León gave the Argentinean XV a narrow 8-7 win over the SA U20 team on Wednesday.
In a rain-afflicted contest, the first points of the game were scored in the 73rd minute when reserve fullback Sebastián Poet slotted a penalty kick after the Baby Boks were penalised for an infringement at the breakdown. The Baby Boks responded immediately with Blue Bulls U19 captain Arno Botha crashing over the try line and Ulrich Beyers’s conversion gave them a 7-3 lead.
But in the final minute, reserve winger De León dived in at the corner to score his team’s first try and win the game for the hosts.
SA U20 coach Dawie Theron had rested a number of first choice players for this fixture, but is expected to field a full strength side against Argentina U20 in Santiago this Saturday.
‘We are naturally disappointed to have conceded a defeat in our first tour match,’ said the Baby Bok coach. ‘The wet conditions didn’t help us either, but it was the same for both teams.
‘We obviously have lots of preparation that lies ahead. But to be honest, and without making too many excuses, for us as a team, it’s about building as a squad and gaining that valuable experience of playing against foreign opposition.
‘This was definitely a huge learning experience for many of the youngsters. But I am reasonably satisfied with the rate in which the guys adapted to local conditions here in Argentina, especially if you consider that we arrived here late Sunday night and have only had two days to prepare for this game.
“We’re going to have to grow as a team as we prepare for the IRB Junior World Champs in Italy in June, and there’s going to be bumps along the way. Let’s rather take the hits now than in June when there will be no excuses.’