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South Africa 73-13 Argentina, Rugby Championship
Springboks power to record victory over Pumas
August 17, 2013
Date/Time: Aug 17, 2013, 17:00 local, 15:00 GMT
Venue: National Stadium, Johannesburg
South Africa 73 - 13 Argentina
Attendance: 52867  Half-time: 26 - 6
Tries: Alberts, de Villiers, BW du Plessis, du Preez, Engelbrecht, Habana, Strauss, Vermeulen, Penalty
Cons: Steyn 8
Pens: Steyn 4
Tries: Contepomi
Cons: Contepomi
Pens: Contepomi 2
South Africa's Jean de Villiers is shackled by the Argentina defence, South Africa v Argentina, Rugby Championship, FNB Stadium, Johannesburg, August 17, 2013
South Africa's Jean de Villiers is shackled by the Argentina defence in Johannesburg
© Getty Images
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South Africa opened their Rugby Championship account with a crushing 73-13 victory over Argentina at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on Saturday.

Match Analysis by ESPNscrum's Graham Jenkins

  • Man of the Match: Fly-half Morne Steyn may have bagged 28 points but he would no doubt be quick to hail the impact of his rampant pack with hooker Adriaan Strauss arguably the stand-out performer and worthy of this honour.
  • Key Moment: Hooker Eusebio Guinazu decision to deliberately knock on and prevent a try-scoring pass proved very costly. Not only was he sent to the sin-bin, a penalty try was awarded and the Boks would cross for another before he returned to the fray.
  • Hero of the Game: Referee Chris Pollock has taken a fair amount of flak in recent weeks but deserves a fair amount of praise for his return to centre stage and especially for his strict policing of the scrum feed with crooked efforts duly punished - unlike Craig Joubert who failed to act accordinly in the opening Rugby Championship clash in Sydney.
  • Villain of the Game: Argentina No.8 Leonardo Senatore was sin-binned for a dangerous tackle on South Africa winger JJ Engelbrecht in the second half of the clash - it was an ugly challenge and the Pumas' powerhouse was rightly punished for lifting and tipping his rival. He attempted to rescue tackle as both came to the ground but why take the risk by lifting in the first place?
  • Talking Point: What has happened to the Pumas? This performance was painful to watch and the review will be embarrassing for coach Santiago Phelan and his players. Can they draw a line under this record loss and recover sufficiently both physically and mentally ahead of the return clash in Mendoza next weekend?
  • Play of the Game: The Boks' second score was perhaps the pick of their nine-try haul. It was sparked by fly-half Morne Steyn near his own line who fed fullback Willie le Roux who in turn chipped ahead. Centre JJ Engelbrecht raced ahead to collect the ball before running it in from 50m for the score.

The hosts ran in nine tries - with no-one notching more than one score - to claim a record victory over the Pumas and sound out an ominous warning to their rivals for the southern hemisphere crown.

The Boks' early dominance was rewarded with a penalty try and winger JJ Engelbrecht also crossed before half time but they raised their game again after the break with hooker Adriaan Strauss, lock Willem Alberts, centre Jean de Villiers, replacement scrum-half Fourie du Preez, winger Bryan Habana, No.8 Duane Vermeulen and replacement hooker Bismarck du Plessis all heaping pain on the Pumas. Fly-half Morne Steyn was also in fine form with a clinical 28-point haul during a near-faultless kicking display.

Argentina, who claimed a famous 16-16 draw in their last clash with the Springboks, were simply outclassed and outplayed in a painfully one-sided clash. Two first half penalties from centre Felipe Contepomi hinted that another close contest was on the cards but they were soon swept aside by an infinitely superior South Africa with a last-gasp try from the Pumas' skipper no more than a consolation.

The hosts dominated possession from the off and were 6-0 ahead inside the opening 10 minutes thanks to two penalties from Steyn before he added a third to restore their six-point lead after Contepomi had halved the deficit with his own kick.

Contepomi once again reduced the deficit to three points after Strauss was penalised for hands in the ruck, but that was as good as it got for the Pumas, who conceded a penalty try in the 29th minute for an intentional knock down, with Eusebio Guinazu shown a yellow card.

Steyn added the extras and it was the talismanic fly-half who broke from deep inside his own half three minutes later after the ball had been turned over to tee up Engelbrecht for an easy try. Steyn once more slotted the conversion and added a penalty just before the interval to give the Boks a commanding 20-point lead.

It got even better for the hosts, who won a lineout before Strauss drove over the try line four minutes after the re-start, with Leonardo Senatore becoming the second Argentinian to receive a yellow card after tip tackling Engelbrecht soon after.

South Africa showed their dominance at the lineout as Alberts drove over the line in the 51st minute, with Steyn missing his only conversion, and they had their fifth try soon after as De Villiers intercepted a pass before cutting through several defenders to cross the whitewash.

Substitute Du Preez crossed just after the hour mark following good work from De Villiers and Habana, who then registered his side's seventh try of the evening after 65 minutes.

Vermeulen and Du Plessis also crossed to seal a memorable victory for the Springboks although they were denied their highest ever victory over Argentina, with Contepomi grabbing a consolation try at the death.

Argentina's Juan Martin Hernandez claims a high ball in a rare high moment for the Pumas © Getty Images
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