Fans got full value for money at Twickenham on Saturday as Elton Jantjies’ late drop-goal completed a stunning comeback for Barbarians in a 38-35 win over Argentina.
The Baa-Baas, made up largely of South Africa players and led by Springboks head coach Rassie Erasmus, found themselves 28-7 down inside half an hour and were still trailing by a converted try with five minutes to go.
But Lood de Jager’s score – the 10th of the match – brought the invitational side level and, with a minute left on the clock, Jantjies slotted over a drop-goal to provide a fittingly dramatic conclusion to what had been an entertaining contest.
The late twist capped a disappointing tour for the Pumas, who over the past three weekends had suffered defeats at the hands of Ireland, France and Scotland in a worrying sequence of results ahead of next year’s World Cup.
DROP GOAL! @jantjies_elton has done it!
He’s only gone & done it with seconds remaining
Hold on boys, hold on!!
— Barbarian FC (@Barbarian_FC) December 1, 2018
It was one of the Pumas’ usual stalwarts, Juan Manuel Leguizamon, selected by the Baa-Baas, who got the scoring under way as superb hands down the right involving Siya Kolisi and Schalk Brits sent him free.
That try was celebrated by the number eight rolling the ball into his team-mates, who fell to the ground like bowling pins, but the lead was swiftly wiped out as Matias Orlando showed quick feet to round Luke Jones after Handre Pollard’s ill-advised chip from his own line, and the Pumas were in front when Joaquin Diaz Bonilla kicked through for Ramiro Moyano to dot down.
Fine work from Moyano and Orlando teed up Pablo Matera for a third and the lead was further extended by Sebastian Cancelliere, who benefited from Moyano’s fine grubber at the end of a searing cut inside off the left.
The Baa-Baas forced a penalty try late in the first half as the Pumas pulled down a driving maul, a tactic that worked again soon after the interval when Kolisi crashed over.
Argentina hit back in similar fashion, Julian Montoya the man to score, and the see-saw nature of the contest continued when Jantjies kicked through for Damian de Allende to get the ball down in the corner.
And the Barbarians were level with five minutes remaining, Jesse Kriel and Frank Lomani sending De Jager away, before Jantjies had the final say.
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