South Africa beat Argentina to end losing streak

Springbok hooker Adriaan Strauss defends the ball

Argentina vs South Africa ended a four match losing streak by beating Argentina
12-26 at Estadio Jose Amalfitani in Buenos Aires

Argentina were forced to make two late changes for the match as a hamstring
strain ruled out veteran loosehead prop Marcos Ayerza and a stomach infection
sidelined another long-serving star, centre Juan Martin Hernandez.

Lucas Noguera took over in the front row, Juan Pablo Socino cames in at inside
centre, and Santiago Garcia Botta and Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias were added
to the bench.

Last week South Africa suffered a humiliating 25-37 loss in Durban but avenged
the loss in Buenos Aires.

Wingers Bryan Habana and Lwazi Mvovo scored first-half tries during a five-minute
purple patch to give the Springboks a 20-9 half-time lead they never look like
surrendering in a much-improved display.

South Africa had a totally different mindset from seven days ago with a side
showing eight changes demonstrating a hunger for success with the recalled Patrick
Lambie outstanding at fly-half.

Argentina could not replicate the scrum and breakdown dominance and backline
creativity shown in Durban and were forced to attack far from the Springbok
tryline.

The hosts also suffered two major pre-match blows with injured prop Marcos
Ayerza and ill centre Juan Manuel Hernandez withdrawing.

The Pumas almost snatched the lead just 105 seconds after the kick-off with
three-try Durban star Juan Imhoff bundled into touch just short of the line
by lock Eben Etzebeth.

Lambie put South Africa ahead from a seventh-minute penalty and then the first
scrum attracted huge interest given the Argentine dominance of that facet seven
days ago.

After New Zealand referee Glen Jackson ordered two resets, the Pumas were penalised
and the visitors achieved a huge psychological boost.

The second scrum also needed to be reset, this time South Africa were punished,
and Argentina fly-half Nicolas Sanchez slotted the penalty to equalise.

Lambie, one of eight personnel changes from the team stunned 37-25 by the South
Americans, kicked another penalty and the Springboks led 6-3 midway through
the first half.

Pumas loose forward Juan Manuel Leguizamon slapped the ball out of the hands
of scrum-half Ruan Pienaar to prevent a certain try in the corner.

But it did not take the Springboks much longer to cross the tryline.

Habana will not score many simpler tries than that in Buenos Aires as he took
a long skip pass from Pienaar and dotted down after sustained pressure.

Lambie converted from the touchline and the 50,000 sell-out home crowd were
silenced as Argentina trailed by 10 points under a clear, late-afternoon sky.

South Africa struck again just four minutes later thanks to a brilliant run
by Mvovo after loose forward Schalk Burger flicked a basketball-style pass into
his hands.

Making a rare start, Mvovo cut inside three would-be tacklers for a great score
and Lambie had the easy task of converting.

Rattled Argentina reduced the 17-point Springboks advantage to 11 by half-time
thanks to two Sanchez penalties.

The second half produced just nine poins with Lambie kicking two penalties
and Sanchez one while Argentina lock Tomas Lavanini was sin-binned near the
end for a no-arms charge into a ruck.

Final Score Argentina 12 (9) South Africa 26 (20)

Scorers

Argentina
Tries –
Pen – Sanchez (4)
Con –
Drop –

South Africa
Tries – Habana, Mvovo
Pen – Lambie (3)
Con – Lambie (2)
Drop – Lambie

Match Officials
Referee : Glen Jackson

Teams

Argentina

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