’Boks rally to beat Pumas

Reuters, DURBAN, South Africa

Mon, Aug 20, 2018 - Page 10

Wingers Aphiwe Dyantyi and Makazole Mapimpi on Saturday scored two tries each as South Africa rallied in the second half to beat Argentina 34-21 in their Rugby Championship opener after another slow start.

The Springboks out-scored the Pumas by six tries to three, but again made heavy work of their victory before finishing strongly.

Lukhanyo Am and Faf de Klerk claimed South Africa’s other tries, while Nicolas Sanchez, Pablo Matera and Matias Moroni crossed the line for Argentina.

The ’Boks continued a trend set in the first two matches of their three-Test series against England in June when they were forced to come from behind to win.

“We didn’t start well as we made a lot of mistakes, which was disappointing because we’ve been working hard on our discipline over the last weeks,” South Africa captain Siya Kolisi said.

The ’Boks were 14-5 behind after 30 minutes, but by halftime had reduced the deficit to four points and scored four tries after the interval to ensure a winning start to the annual southern hemisphere competition.

However, there will be concerns for coach Rassie Erasmus after flyhalf Handre Pollard kicked over just one of six attempts at posts and the hosts, turning down kickable penalties to go for touch instead, botched the resultant close-in line-outs.

Am opened the scoring after eight minutes, but Argentina hit back quickly as they took advantage of errors to see Sanchez and Matera over the tryline.

Dyantyi, named man of the match, carried over a superb crossfield kick from Willie le Roux to launch the home recovery before the break, and two minutes after the interval went over again as the ’Boks took control.

Mapimpi, in his second Test, scored two tries in a five-minute spell soon after Moroni’s intercept try reduced the home lead to 27-21 with just over 10 minutes left.

However, De Klerk darted over for the sixth home try as pressure wore down the Pumas defense.

The teams meet again in Mendoza next week.