Springboks thump Argentina in their Rugby Championship opener

Date:

Courtnall Skosan of the Springbok Team and Emiliano Boffelli of Argentina during the Rugby Championship match between South Africa and Argentina at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on August 19, 2017 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
Courtnall Skosan of the Springbok Team and Emiliano Boffelli of Argentina during the Rugby Championship match between South Africa and Argentina at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on August 19, 2017 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.  Image: Dirk Kotze/Gallo Images
South Africa’s renaissance continued when they thumped Argentina 37-15 in their opening Rugby Championship clash in Port Elizabeth.

After whipping France 3-0 in June, the Boks stayed on the winning track in front of 42,513 raucous fans at a packed Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

South Africa scored four tries and the loudest roar came when local hero and Zwide-born Siya Kolisi crashed over after 65 minutes to put the Boks into a commanding 28-15 ahead.

Towards the end the Boks were running rampant against a Pumas side who were clearly flagging in the face of the total Bok onslaught.

It was the ideal start to the competition for South Africa who are trying to exorcise the ghosts of 2016 when they could win only four of the 12 matches they played.

One of those nightmare defeats came against today’s opponents, who shocked the Boks 26-24 in Salta last year.

The victory also meant that the Boks maintained their proud unbeaten record at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium which stretches back to 2011.

South Africa made a bright start and were intent on spreading the ball wide in the opening exchanges of a tight first half.

Cool-headed Elton Jantjies put the first points on the board for the Boks after 11 minutes when he nailed a penalty from 40 metres out to give the home team early reward for their endeavours.

The Boks were playing at a fast tempo and had the edge in the territorial battle which left the Pumas scrambling on defence.

The pressure earned South Africa another penalty after 19 minutes, which Jantjies slotted to put the Boks ahead 6-0.

Argentina then took the fight to the Boks, but Nicolas Sanchez could not make the advantage count when he missed a relatively straight-forward penalty.

The Pumas had their first points after 31 minutes when scrumhalf Martin Landajo rounded off a sweeping move that started deep in their own half after a break by Joaquin Tuculet.

Three minutes before halftime, livewire wing Courtnall Skosan shrugged off the Pumas defence to give the Boks their first try and a 13-5 lead.

Argentina came out with all guns blazing in the second half and Nicolas Sanchez reduced South Africa’s lead to 13-8 after 45 minutes.

Thankfully for South Africa, Jantjies had his radar finely tuned and he slotted a 40 metre penalty after 48  minutes to put the hosts 16-8 ahead.

Scorers:

South Africa 37:

Tries: Courtnall Skosan, Raymond Rhule, Siya Kolisi, Pieter-Steph Du Toit

Conversions: Elton Jantjies (4)

Penalties: Elton Jantjies (3 )

Argentina 15:

Tries: Martin Landajo, Emiliano Boffelli

Conversion:  Juan Hernandez. Penalty: Nicolas Sanchez.

BY GEORGE BYRON‚ PORT ELIZABETH

TMG Digital

 

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