Monday, August 20, 2012
The Springboks scored three tries to take a 27-6 win over Argentina in their opening match of the Rugby Championship at Newlands on Saturday. The two sides will travel to Mendoza for their next game, this coming weekend.
Morne Steyn picked up the Man of the Match award following a tough few months for him after his performances against England weren't quite up to par. He bounced back well with five from five kicks at goal, and some good open field play, including a cross-kick for the Bryan Habana try.
Zane Kirchner and Marcell Coetzee also scored, and despite Argentina managing to disrupt and turnover a lot of Springbok ball in the second half, the hosts were ultimately too strong for their new opposition in the expanded annual tournament.
"Argentina made history today and we feel honoured as the first players from the country to play in the southern hemisphere championship,'' said captain Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe.
"This was a high-intensity rugby match and I am proud of my players for never giving up. I am also grateful to those who worked so hard for so many years to get us this opportunity."
Bok skipper Jean De Villiers, already having arrived in Argentina with his team, said that he expects a much tougher challenge this coming weekend.
"It's their first game at home in this competition. They'll be out to prove a point. We know that they'll be tough, we know that they'll be emotionally up for it - and mentally up for it. We're prepared for a massive battle on Saturday."
De Villiers and Habana are the only two players in the Sprinbok camp that took part in their last match in Argentina in 2005. On that occasion he was involved in an incident with a moat that almost ended in disaster.
Hooker Bismarck Du Plessis is out for the rest of the season following an unfortunate knee injury early in the game. Sharks hooker Craig Burden, who was featured scoring two tries a few days ago, has joined the squad, while Tiaan Liebenburg is also there as cover.
How do you feel Argentina fared in their first outing, and do you think they'll be better in Mendoza?