Springboks power to record victory over Pumas
August 17, 2013
South Africa's Jean de Villiers is shackled by the Argentina defence in Johannesburg
© Getty Images
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
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
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Communication error please reload the page.
Alex Dreyfus, CEO of the Global Poker Index, envisioned the day when he purchased the European Poker Awards two years ago. While the Europeans have had an annual awards celebration for over a decade, America has never seen a poker awards experience before
Unbeaten heavyweight Anthony Joshua has hinted at a potential fight with American veteran Tony Thompson
The Manor Marussia F1 team has confirmed it will take part in the Australian Grand Prix in less than two weeks after naming Stephen Fitzpatrick as the man behind its financial revival
Scotland head coach Vern Cotter has been forced to recall three players from club duty in order to cover player injuries
Four of England's top golfers will take turns hosting the British Masters when the event returns to the European Tour schedule this year
Join Steve Bunce and Barry Jones each week for the latest news, views and debate from the boxing world.
Head injuries are not a trivial matter in sport - especially in one which will never fully eliminate the danger posed to its drivers
Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood was so delighted with his side's last-gasp win over West Brom that he said the three points were better than his wife winning the Euro Millions jackpot
He may try and play down his obsession with his appearance, but Cristiano Ronaldo has apparently been sending a personal stylist to regularly brush up his waxwork model
Paul Butler tells Inside Boxing he turned down the chance of a trial with Liverpool in order to focus on boxing - and it was the right choice
Rafael Benitez has raised concerns about the long-term fitness of Chelsea captain John Terry after revealing the defender is trapped in "a vicious circle" regarding his persistent knee injury
John Terry says he is fighting for his family's future but has pledged never to play for another club when his time at Chelsea comes to an end
Carl Froch has challenged Andre Ward to step into enemy territory at Nottingham Forest's City Ground for their proposed super-middleweight title unification bout
Louis van Gaal has come to the defence of Angel Di Maria after the midfielder's Manchester United career reached a new low when he was taken off at half-time in Saturday's 2-0 win over Sunderland
Crystal Palace midfielder Mile Jedinak has been charged with violent conduct for elbowing West Ham's Diafra Sakho, the Football Association has announced
Eight years ago, Steve Bunce was offered the chance of buying a 'share' in Tyson Fury, and it would have been a shrewd investment if he had the money
After enduring a tricky start to his Manchester United career, perhaps it is fair that Marcos Rojo celebrated so boisterously as he watched his first professional club Estudiantes beat fierce rivals Gimnasia
The idea of Chelsea squeezing in a quick 20-minute Wembley celebration before getting back to work is both admirable and typically soulless, writes Alan Tyers
A basketball match between Bilbao Basket and Laboral Kutxa Baskonia in the Spanish ACB League was marred by a brawl that erupted in the closing stages of the game
Former Oasis guitarist Noel Gallagher marked his return to football punditry by coining a new name for Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers