Argentina's Los Pumas celebrate after defeating South Africa's Springboks in a Rugby Championship 2018 test match at Malvinas Argentinas stadium in Mendoza. Picture: AFP
Argentina's Los Pumas celebrate after defeating South Africa's Springboks in a Rugby Championship 2018 test match at Malvinas Argentinas stadium in Mendoza. Picture: AFP

Argentina give Boks a record beating

ARGENTINA beat South Africa in coach Mario Ledesma's first home test in charge as the Pumas produced a rampaging first-half performance in a 32-19 victory in the Rugby Championship.

Ledesma's team scored three of its four tries in eight minutes in the opening half, wresting control with a double by right wing Bautista Delguy and a touchdown from fly half Nicolas Sanchez.

Sanchez collected 17 points to give Argentina its third win over South Africa, all coming in the last three years.

It was Argentina's biggest victory over the Springboks, surpassing the 37-25 win in South Africa in 2015. It was also a first triumph this year for the Pumas, who lost three straight home games in June, a run that saw the end of former coach Daniel Hourcade and gave former Argentina hooker Ledesma his chance. Ledesma started with a loss in South Africa last weekend but turned it around in Mendoza, with Argentina much stronger than the Boks upfront, more physical at the breakdown, and far more incisive with its attacks.

Argentina led 27-7 at halftime and 32-7 early in the second half, despite South Africa captain Siya Kolisi having claimed the game's first try. In an early glitch for the Pumas, Kolisi scored by taking advantage of a missed tackle by Sanchez.

Sanchez and Argentina replied convincingly.

Delguy grabbed the home side's first try in the 19th minute after a break by fullback Emiliano Boffelli. He then picked up his second four minutes later after the Pumas gained momentum with a powerful scrum.

Sanchez darted through a shambolic South Africa defence soon after lock Eben Etzebeth was sent to the sin bin for a ruck infringement on the Boks' line. The Argentina fly half then kicked a drop goal before halftime to add to his try, three conversions and a penalty in the first 40 minutes.

Argentina's other wing, Ramiro Moyano, scored the fourth try five minutes into the second half and the lead wasn't seriously threatened despite a double by the Springboks replacement wing Lionel Mapoe, his first test tries. The Pumas didn't score again after Moyano's touchdown but they didn't need to as the defence held up.

The loss was a blow for South Africa coach Rassie Erasmus, who is also new in the job after being given the task of reviving the two-time World Cup winner following a dire two years under Allister Coetzee.

Erasmus, who took over at the start of the season, oversaw a 2-1 victory against England in a June series, but his record stands at three wins, three losses, and he hasn't won a test outside South Africa.

Argentina's victory gives defending champion New Zealand a clear lead in the standings after two rounds of the southern hemisphere championship following its 40-12 drubbing of Australia earlier on Saturday.



ARGENTINA 32 (Bautista Delguy 2, Ramiro Moyano, Nicolas Sanchez tries Sanchez 3 cons pen drop goal) bt SOUTH AFRICA 19 (Lionel Mapoe 2, Siya Kolisi tries Handre Pollard 2 cons) at Estadio Malvinas Argentinas. Referee: Angus Gardner. Crowd: 27,460


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