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Argentina stun South Africa

Juan Imhoff's hat-trick led Argentina to a stunning 37-25 upset in Durban as South Africa's World Cup preparations continue to falter with a fourth straight defeat.

The Pumas led 27-13 by half-time, Juan Martin Hernandez converting Marcelo Bosch's early score and two from Imhoff - who completed his treble immediately after the interval.

Willie Le Roux's try narrowed the gap but Bosch's drop-goal made Argentina comfortable again despite Bryan Habana's late try.

It took the visitors barely a minute to open the scoring when they won a line-out and Imhoff broke through before sending Bosch over.

Handre Pollard's penalty cut the deficit to 7-3 and Hernandez was off target with a drop goal attempt and two penalties - but he regained his poise to convert after Tomas Cubelli's dummy run allowed Imhoff to go over.

Again Pollard responded with a penalty but the Pumas' scrum allowed Cubelli to again create the chance as Imhoff scored his second.

Lodewyk de Jager pulled a try back before half-time, converted by Pollard, but penalties from Hernandez and Bosch stretched Argentina's lead to 14.

And there was no let-up as the second period began, though the South American side had the benefit of a couple of refereeing decisions as they built their score further.

They played on as medics treated their groggy-looking hooker Agustin Creevy, and a quick tap caught the home side cold and allowed Imhoff to race over in the corner.

Hernandez converted but South Africa responded with Jean de Villiers and Jesse Kriel combining to set up Le Roux, Pollard adding the extras.

Errors prevented them from furthering their comeback, Le Roux sending a pass intended for Kriel straight out of play and another to Habana forward while Bismarck du Plessis dropped a ball to end another move.

A Pumas knock-on was missed in the build-up to Bosch's drop goal and Pollard sent the kick-off out on the full.

Jacobus Reinach was denied a try after bursting through from a quick tap penalty, the television match official deeming he had taken it from the wrong position.

South Africa did manage to get Habana over but with two minutes remaining it was too little, too late and they prop up the four-team table after Argentina's first win of the tournament.


From Belfast Telegraph