Dominant Springboks make it four wins in a row
Port Elizabeth (South Africa) (AFP)
Wingers Courtnall Skosan and Raymond Rhule scored their first Test tries as South Africa stretched a winning run to four Tests by defeating Argentina 37-15 Saturday in the Rugby Championship.
Springboks fly-half Elton Jantjies kicked 17 points at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth as the home team finished comfortable victors after leading 13-5 at half-time.
The victory followed a 3-0 whitewash of France two months ago and continued a turnaround after a calendar-year record eight defeats in 12 Tests last season.
Argentina were virtually always on the back foot, committing countless handling errors, conceding numerous penalties and fly-half Nicolas Sanchez had an off-day with his goal-kicking.
Relentless early pressure from South Africa finally paid off after 12 minutes when Jantjies slotted a penalty after flanker Tomas Lezana went off his feet at a ruck.
Jantjies doubled the lead on 20 minutes from another penalty with Lezana again the offender, this time caught offside by French referee Romain Poite.
A six-point lead after 20 minutes was hardly the reward the Springboks deserved as they had kept the Pumas hemmed deep in their half on a cool, clear eastern Cape evening.
It took Argentina 27 minutes to reach the South African '22' and almost immediately Sanchez had a chance to score, but missed a kickable penalty attempt.
However, five minutes later the South Americans did score when a grubber kick from centre Jan Serfontein was snapped up by full-back Joaquin Tuculet, who counterattacked.
Winger Emiliano Boffelli carried forward the move and his clever kick ahead was snapped up by scrum-half Martin Landajo and he dotted down in the corner.
Sanchez failed to convert, leaving South Africa with a 6-5 ahead that did not reflect their possession and territory dominance.
South Africa finally scored a try after 37 minutes as Skosan collected an inside pass from Jantjies, shrugged off a tackle and went over between the posts.
Jantjies converted and South Africa left the field at half-time full value for a 13-5 advantage.
Sanchez and Jantjies exchanged second-half penalties before Rhule burst between two Pumas to score his first try, which was converted.
Slick handling sent Boffelli over at the other end and substitute fly-half Juan Martin Hernandez converted to leave the South Americans trailing 23-15 with an hour gone.
South Africa controlled the final quarter and forwards Siya Kolisi and substitute Pieter-Steph du Toit scored tries which Jantjies converted.
© 2017 AFP