KEO News Wire

Pumas hold off sloppy Springboks to end home drought

Argentina ended a six-Test losing streak on home soil as they upset Rugby Championship rivals South Africa 32-19 in Mendoza on Saturday.

Bautista Delguy crossed for two tries as the Pumas – who suffered a 34-21 defeat on South African soil a week ago – punished a mixture of poor discipline and weak tackling to score 27 first-half points.

The visiting Springboks scored the opening try of the game, captain Siya Kolisi bursting clear to reach the line, but the hosts hit back with three scores of their own to seize control by the interval.

After Delguy’s brace prior to the break, fellow winger Ramiro Moyano touched down early in the second half as Mario Ledesma’s side extended their lead.

Yet it was Nicolas Sanchez who was the chief tormentor against the sloppy Springboks, including kicking Argentina into an early lead with a penalty.

Handre Pollard missed a straightforward attempt off the tee to level the scores but did add the conversion after Kolisi accepted a short pass to burst clear, rewarding South Africa’s strong start to the contest.

However, Argentina responded to the try with a glut of points, Delguy twice going over on the right as Rassie Erasmus’ side struggled to contain their opponents.

After Eben Etzebeth saw yellow for cynical play at the breakdown close to his own line, Sanchez produced a clever blindside break, finishing with a splash dive that nearly saw him ground the ball beyond the dead-ball line.

The influential fly-half kicked his third conversion before adding a drop goal, though he was unsuccessful with his attempt to add the extras after Moyano finished off a flowing move by sliding over in the left corner.

Yet South Africa – who had overturned a half-time deficit to win the reverse fixture in Durban – fought back, replacement Lionel Mapoe grabbing a brace of tries to set up a tense finish at the Estadio Malvinas Argentinas.

Crucially, though, the visitors saw a potential try in between Mapoe’s double ruled out, Aphiwe Dyantyi the player denied after the TMO judged the final pass to have gone forward.

Argentina capitalised on the reprieve to hold firm through to the final whistle, giving them a morale-boosting victory ahead of a daunting trip to New Zealand on September 8.

KEO.co.za News wire is powered by opta

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