SPRINGBOKS HISTORICALLY HUMBLED BY THE PUMAS
By: Jarryd Subroyen
Argentina caused a huge upset as they defeated South Africa 37-25 in the penultimate Rugby Championship fixture of 2015 at the Growthpoint Kingspark Stadium on Saturday.
It took the South Americans no longer than a minute after kick-off to open the scoring when they won a line-out and Imhoff split South Africa’s defence before sending Bosch over, as
Hernandez slotted the conversion to make it 7-0.
Handre Pollard’s penalty cut the deficit to 7-3 but it was short-lived, after Tomas Cubelli’s dummy run allowed Imhoff to go over and Hernandez successfully added the extra two-
Pollard again responded with a penalty but the Pumas’ domination in the scrum allowed Cubelli to link up as he did the previous chance with Imhoff, allowing him to score hissecond.
Lodewyk de Jager pulled a try back for the Green and Gold before half-time and it was converted by Pollard, but successful penalties from Hernandez and Bosch respectively stretched Argentina’s lead to 14.
The Pumas led 27-13 by half-time, after Juan Martin Hernandez converted Marcelo Bosch’s early try and two more from Juan Imhoff. Imhoff went on to complete his hat-trick not long after the interval.
A quick tap-and-go penalty caught the home side napping as Imhoff sprinted over in the corner to round off his treble. Hernandez conversion was once again successful as he added the two points.
Despite the Springboks’ late consolation try through Bryan Habana, Bosch’s successful drop-goal attempt sealed the Argentinians victory.
Schoolboy errors from the home side prevented them from pulling off a comeback, as crowd favourites Cobus Reinach and Patrick Lambie were brought on for Ruan Pienaar and Pollard
Reinach was denied a try after making a darting run through the opposition’s defence following a quick tap-and-go penalty, as the referee was informed by the Television Match
Official that the penalty was taken from the incorrect position.
Heyneke Meyer, the Springboks head coach, was seemingly lost for words after his side’s defeat to ‘Los Pumas’ as he couldn’t quite pin-point the team’s shortcomings.
“We just played really poorly, I can’t put my finger on it now. There is no excuse, I take full responsibility and will take it on the chin,” said Meyer.
South Africa did manage to get Habana over the try-line but with only two minutes remaining on the clock – it was too little, too late.
Habana said “The next 48 hours will see the senior players leading a lot of introspection in the group to see where we are as players and as a team and whether we really believe we can
go on and do something special in a few weeks’ time.”
Argentina claimed their first ever win against the Springboks, as well as their first win since their inauguration into The Rugby Championship.
The alternate fixture saw Australia defeat New Zealand 27-19 at the ANZ Stadium in Sydney, handing the Wallabies the 2015 Rugby Championship trophy, ahead of the All
Next weekend’s round of fixtures, which won’t be contested for points, will see New Zealand defend their Bledisloe Cup title against Australia at Eden Park and South Africa will try
salvage some pride away to Argentina.