Boks bring Pumas back to earth
August 18, 2012
Frans Steyn takes the ball into contact
© PA Photos
Story of the Game
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.
"The loudest cheer at a rugby game, away from social media gimmicks, pumping music and pyrotechnics will always be for a try." Tom Hamilton on the Twickenham atmosphere
"The only thing that will stop this England team from becoming a great team is themselves. They need to ask themselves 'what can we be?'" The Phil Vickery column
The latest Monday Maul looks at the hectic final weekend, the Lions hangover, the superb Mike Brown and the 'selfie'
"At the crux of this England team is a lack of fear, they are not afraid to throw playbooks out of the window." Tom Hamilton reports from Twickenham