Both teams were surprised to see a wet and ugly Loftus Versfeld. The final score was a victory to South Africa, but Heyneke Meyer probably feels disappointed by the final result. The Springboks weren’t able to get the bonus point victory.
The Argentinian front row showed they came to play when they were dominant in the scrum earlier on, also winning all their lineouts and giving Bismarck and Co. headaches on their own ball. Ruan Pienaar, who had a considerably good game, was at the end of a driving maul where he teamed up with Cornell Hendricks to score the game’s one and only try.
Handre Pollard was good on defense but made one too many kicking errors which were fairly simple. The weather conditions were not suitable for either of the teams as the handling errors continued to be the leading stats in the match.
The best chance for the Boks’ second try was a Willie Le Roux chip, which he knocked on two metres away from the line, further highlighting the difficulty the weather was producing.
The Argentinian setpieces were impressive – relative to the weather. They were winning their own lineouts, competing with the Springboks for theirs, and the Argentinian scrum held firm – even outshining the Boks on a few occasions. Argentina were doing a lot of kicking which was confusing because they were directing their kicks to a sharp Le Roux who put on a great performance for the crowd.
The Springboks continued their pursuit for more tries in the second half but there was an element of rustiness and a lack of attacking ideas. The last 10 minutes of the game saw the Pumas put South Africa under the sword and were camped in the Springboks’ half. Some superb defending by Duane Vermulen and Francious Louw forced Argentina to knock on the ball. The best chance Argentina had was a charge down on Morne Steyn which was urgently dealt with by Damien De Allende and Ruan Pienaar.
The Springboks now travel to Argentina for their next fixture on the 23rd of August.