South Africa got revenge for last weekend’s shock Rugby Championship loss to Argentina in Durban with a 26-12 triumph over the Pumas in Buenos Aires on Saturday.
The Springboks entered the game following four straight losses but received a desperately needed boost as they scored two tries to none by Argentina at the Velez Sarsfield soccer stadium.
Wingers Bryan Habana and Lwazi Mvovo both touched down in the first half in a moderately comfortable win, which was South Africa’s last test before heading to England next month to kick off their World Cup campaign.
Pat Lambie was South Africa’s star man as he kicked 16 points from the tee and played as an influential playmaker role in the Springbok side.
South Africa had made eight changes to the starting lineup subsequent to Argentina’s surprise 37-25 win a week ago in the last round of the Rugby Championship
The opening quarter of the game had struggled to get going with the Springboks leading 6-3 through two Lambie penalties while Nicolas Sanchez also struck one for the Pumas.
Habana then stepped up to score, receiving a lovely pass from scrum-half Ruan Pienaar to touch down after 27 minutes. And Lambie converted to give the visitors a 10-point lead.
But three minutes later the Springboks were even further in front when some free-flowing passing from the Boks backs eventually reached Mvovo, who raced in to score their second try. And Lambie against converted the extras again as the away side tightened their grip on the game, 20-3.
But two more penalties from the Pumas Sanchez before the break narrowed South Africa’s advantage to eleven points going into half-time.
Man of the match Lambie started the second half in superb fashion as he slotted a drop-goal before Sanchez kicked his fourth and final penalty.
Lambie then kicked a penalty of his own just before the hour before Argentina lost lock Tomas Lavanini to the sin bin, but the scoring was up as both sides seemed content to wind down the clock.
Heyneke Meyer’s Springbok side can now at least approach their Pool B opener against Japan on September 19 with renewed confidence. Argentina, on the other hand, kicks off their campaign with a difficult clash against the reigning champions New Zealand the next day.
Man of the match- Pat Lambie
The Sharks Pat Lambie is notorious as a versatile weapon for his club but displayed that for country following a strong showing in Buenos Aires. He has done nothing to hurt his case for a starting spot at the upcoming World Cup, with current first choice Handre Pollard will certainly have to watch his back.