Pumas power gives them a share of the spoils

By
Updated: August 26, 2012

Frans Steyn proved the saviour for the Boks in their historic Rugby Championship match in Mendoza yesterday against the defiant Pumas.

The home team stunned the Boks to lead at half time 13-3, courtesy of a Santiago Fernandez try and the trusty boot of Martin Rodriguez in difficult kicking conditions.

Bok coach Heineke Meyer red the riot act at half time. As a result the visitors clawed back the deficit to finish 16 apiece at the final siren, an opportunist charge down try by Steyn saving their blushes.

It was an encouraging performance by the Pumas which suggest that Argentina will be a difficult place to travel for the big 3 in the newly revamped Rugby Championship.

The pumas were very physical on the breakdown and in particular Toulon based Fernandez Lobbe who had an outstanding game. Also in the line outs the home side had the better of the possession, stealing 2 balls off their opposition throws. This must be a major concern as for the last decade with the brilliant Matfield and Botha in the team the Boks dominated the line outs whoever they played.

It was clear to see the physical style of Schalk Burger and the injured Bismark du Plessis was sorely missed something Meyer will have to address as both players will not be available for the remained of the tournament.

Argentina now leave for their away leg against New Zealand and Australia with much confidence, knowing that on their first 2 performances they are not out of their depth, especially considering they have brought a European style of play to a southern tournament.

The Springboks face Australia next in Perth and will have to step it up if they are to harbor any hope of lifting the inaugural Rugby Championship trophy.

Argentina – Try: Santiago Fernandez. Conversion: Martin Rodriguez. Penalties: Rodriguez (3).

South Africa – Try: Francois Steyn. Conversion: Morne Steyn. Penalties: M Steyn (3).