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South Africa 27-6 Argentina, The Rugby Championship
Boks bring Pumas back to earth
ESPN Staff
August 18, 2012
Date/Time: Aug 18, 2012, 17:00 local, 15:00 GMT
Venue: Newlands Stadium, Cape Town
South Africa 27 - 6 Argentina
Attendance: 38843  Half-time: 20 - 6
Tries: Coetzee, Habana, Kirchner
Cons: M Steyn 3
Pens: M Steyn 2
Pens: Hernandez 2
South Africa's Francois Steyn takes the ball into contact, South Africa v Argentina, The Rugby Championship, Newlands, Cape Town, South Africa, August 18, 2012
Frans Steyn takes the ball into contact
© PA Photos
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Story of the Game

  • Man of the Match: Morne Steyn was back to his best after coming in for some deserved criticism for his form in the run up to the tournament. Steyn was nearly faultless from the kicking tee and played a key role in the Boks' attacking game. An impressive performance.
  • Key Moment: It has to be the moment the Pumas took to the Newlands turf. It was a key moment in their rugby history and they will reap the benefits from playing the top class opposition week in week out.
  • Hero of the Game: Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe was superb for the Pumas. Yes they lost, but Lobbe never shirked the physical nature of the game and always put his body on the line - an inspiring performance.
  • Villain of the Game: Perhaps harsh on Juan Martin Hernandez but his three missed penalties at the start of the second-half took the wind out of the Pumas' sails. Had they gone over then the scoreboard would have made better reading for the Argentineans.
  • Talking Point: The Pumas must improve their discipline around the breakdown. They were lucky to escape sin-binnings and while their attitude was spot on, that is a facet of the game that needs attention.
  • Play of the Game: Morne Steyn's cross kick for Bryan Habana's try was spot on. A great kick and a solid catch from Habana saw them turn a good attacking position into their third try - Springboks rugby at its best.

Tries from Zane Kirchner, Marcell Coetzee and Bryan Habana gave the Springboks a 27-6 win over Argentina at Newlands in Cape Town.

It was Argentina's first outing in the newly expanded Tri-Nations and the scoreline could have been closer had Juan Martin Hernandez kicked three second-half penalties. But the Boks never looked like they were going to lose the game with Morne Steyn imperious throughout and the Boks' back-row also putting in a solid shift.

South Africa's victory sees them move above New Zealand in the standings, with the All Blacks having beaten Australia 27-19 in the Sydney earlier today.

Steyn, who in making his 38th Test appearance for his country passed Butch James' mark as South Africa's most-capped fly-half, opened the scoring in the third minute when he slotted over a penalty following a threatening attack that almost brought the home side a try. Hernandez drew the visitors level 11 minutes later with a penalty of his own but South Africa responded with the opening try of the match from Kirchner.

The fullback, who conceded the penalty that allowed Hernandez to make it 3-3, made the most of good work by Steyn to cross on the left, with Steyn adding a fine conversion. Steyn continued his 100% record with a straightforward penalty in the 25th minute to make it 13-3, before the Springboks scored their second try two minutes later when 21-year-old Coetzee crossed for his first international try.

Steyn tagged on the extras and although Argentina reduced the arrears almost immediately with Hernandez's second penalty of the match, South Africa held a 20-6 advantage at the break. Heyneke Meyer's side would have been hoping to push on from there in the second half and get the bonus-point victory, but they could only add seven more points through record tryscorer Habana's converted 57th-minute score.

After Hernandez had three penalties at the start of the second half that could have put Argentina right back in the contest, Habana collected Steyn's superb cross-field kick before touching down his 41st international try.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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