The Springboks have opened their 2013 Castrol EDGE Rugby Championship campaign with an impressive nine-try 73-13 victory over Argentina in Soweto on Saturday (Sunday morning AEST).
The match was played at FNB Stadium as part of a double-bill with Bafana Bafana, the South African Football team, in celebration of the inaugural Nelson Mandela Sports and Culture Day.
Despite struggling to get into their stride early on, South Africa were too good as they started the Castrol EDGE Rugby Championship strongly.
Two penalties from flyhalf Morne Steyn set them on their way before Argentina lost influential lock Patricio Albacete to an injury on thirteen minutes. That left them with just one notable jumper in the line-out and with the Springboks strong in the set-piece, the Pumas were no match.
Steyn and Felipe Contepomi traded penalties to make it 9-6, but the lack of territory was too much for the Pumas. Hooker Eusebio Guinazu was caught out as he slapped down a pass to Ruan Pienaar which led to a penalty try being awarded and Guinazu sent to the sin-bin. Steyn sent over the extra two points.
At 16-6, the Boks were on their way and doubled their try account soon after when new fullback Willie le Roux's chip over the top from deep saw young centre JJ Engelbrecht collect and stroll over for seven points only four minutes later.
The net result was a 26-6 half-time scoreline.
Things did not improve for the Pumas seven minutes after the restart when Adriaan Strauss powered over off the back of a driving maul, stretching the lead to 27 points after the conversion. The Boks were now just one try away from a precious four-try bonus point.
Leonardo Senatore was the second Pumas’ player to take a spell in the bin when his tip-tackle on Engelbrecht saw him shown yellow on 50 minutes. Unsurprisingly the hosts made the No.8 pay for his indiscretion as Willem Alberts was next to cross on the back of another maul.
South Africa then struck while the iron was hot when Jean de Villiers intercepted a pass before running in to touch down as the margin grew to 45-6. And the trend would continue with Argentina on the receiving end of yet more tries through Fourie du Preez, Bryan Habana and Duane Vermuelen who added the gloss before replacement hooker Bismarck du Plessis' score.
Contepomi did cross for Argentina but it could not paper over the cracks left by the loss.
The two teams now move on to Mendoza in Argentina where they meet again in Round 2 of the Castrol EDGE Rugby Championship next Sunday morning (AEST).
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CASTROL EDGE RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP
FULL TIME SCORE
South Africa 73 (Penalty try, JJ Engelbrecht, Adriaan Strauss, Willem Alberts, Jean De Villiers, Fourie Du Preez, Bryan Habana, Duane Vermeulen, Bismarck du Plessis tries; Morne Steyn 8 conversions, 4 penalties) defeated Argentina 13 (Felipe Contepomi try; conversion, 2 penalties) at FNB Stadium, Soweto.
Yellow Cards: Eusebio Guinazo (29 minutes), Leonardo Senatore (50 minutes)
South Africa: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Bjorn Basson, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jean de Villiers (c), 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Juandré Kruger, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Bismarck du Plessis, 17 Gurthrö Steenkamp, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Flip Van Der Merwe, 20 Siya Kolisi, 21 Fourie du Preez, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 Jan Serfontein.
Argentina: 15 Juan Martin Hernandez, 14 Gonzalo Camacho, 13 Marcelo Bosch, 12 Felipe Contepomi (c), 11 Juan Imhoff, 10 Nicolas Sanchez, 9 Martin Landajo, 8 Leonardo Senatore, 7 Juan Manuel Leguizamon, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Patricio Albacete, 4 Manuel Carizza, 3 Matias Diaz, 2 Eusebio Guinazu, 1 Juan Figallo.
Replacements: 16 Agustin Creevy, 17 Nahuel Lobo, 18 Juan Pablo Orlandi, 19 Mariano Galarza, 20 Julio Farias Cabello, 21 Tomas Cubelli, 22 Santiago Fernandez, 23 Horacio Agulla.