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Springboks defeat Pumas

South Africa gained revenge for last weekend's surprise Rugby Championship defeat to Argentina in Durban with a 26-12 victory over the Pumas in Buenos Aires on Saturday.

The two-time World Cup winners lost 37-25 at Kings Park last Saturday to finish bottom of the SANZAR pile, but made amends seven days later as wings Bryan Habana and Lwazi Mvovo scored tries and Patrick Lambie kicked 16 points in a solid yet unspectacular victory at Jose Amalfitani Stadium.

The Springboks went into their first World Cup warm-up encounter seeking to end a four-game losing run and v ictory means Heyneke Meyer's side can at least approach their Pool B opener against Japan on September 19 with renewed confidence.

South Africa led 6-3 after an underwhelming opening quarter with Lambie kicking a couple of penalties and Nicolas Sanchez responding for Argentina with a three-point effort of his own.

South Africa settled into the match and after a sustained spell camped on Argentina's try line, Habana profited from scrum-half Ruan Pienaar's cut-out pass to dot down in the corner for the game's opening try. Lambie added the extras from the touchline to extend their lead to 13-3.

Some fine handling across South Africa's backline enabled Mvovo to score South Africa's second try almost immediately from the restart and Lambie added the extras as the visitors strengthened their grip on the contest.

But Sanchez reduced the deficit with his second and third penalties of the match to narrow South Africa's lead to 20-9 at the half-time interval.

Lambie showcased his impressive form with the boot as he extended South Africa's lead two minutes after the restart with a sweetly-struck drop goal and, after Sanchez landed a fourth and final penalty for the Pumas, he kicked a third penalty of his own to complete the scoring.

Argentina lost lock Tomas Lavanini to the sin bin shortly after the hour mark but in the end it mattered little as both sides were content to run down the clock.


From Belfast Telegraph