Mon, Dec 06, 2004 - Page 20 News List

S Africa thrashes Argentina 39-7 as season concludes

AP , BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA

South Africa launched five tries in the first half-hour and cruised past Argentina 39-7 in a rugby international at Velez Sarsfield yesterday.

The Springboks led 36-0 after 30 minutes then loosened their grip and could add only a second-half penalty by fullback Gaffie du Toit, who finished with two tries in a 24-point haul.

Argentina, without 10 starters who beat France and were edged by Ireland, dominated the last 50 minutes but too many errors prevented the Pumas from penetrating a proud Bok defense more than once, when Santiago Artese was driven over from a lineout to make it 36-7 at halftime.

The International Rugby Board failed to enforce its laws, and allowed French and Irish clubs to bar 11 Pumas from playing for their country, forcing coach Marcelo Loffreda to choose a mainly homegrown side whose inexperience was taken advantage of quickly.

From a chargedown, Bok center Marius Joubert scored in the eighth minute, then Du Toit went over five minutes later after a well-worked move by the backs.

Joubert almost got his second try moments later but his quick-tap close to the Argentine line was knocked on. However, another chargedown of a Pumas kick gave No. 8 Jacques Cronje his first try of two, and Du Toit converted to make it 24-0 in the 21st.

Two minutes later, Cronje broke from a lineout and barrelled past two defenders for another converted try.

South Africa completed its 10th successive victory against Argentina in as many tests.

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