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Argentina 17-22 South Africa, Mendoza, Rugby Championship
Steyn boots South Africa to victory
August 24, 2013
Date/Time: Aug 24, 2013, 16:10 local, 19:10 GMT
Venue: Estadio Mundialista Malvinas Argentinas, Mendoza
Argentina 17 - 22 South Africa
Attendance: 23944  Half-time: 17 - 13
Tries: Bosch, Leguizamon
Cons: Contepomi 2
Pens: Contepomi
Tries: Basson
Cons: Steyn
Pens: Steyn 5
South Africa celebrate Bjorn Basson's try, Argentina v South Africa, Rugby Championship, Mendoza, Argentina, August 24, 2013
South Africa celebrate Bjorn Basson's try
© Getty Images
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Match Analysis

  • Man of the Match: Morne Steyn was South Africa's hero as he slotted 15 points but Argentina's back-row were superb throughout. For us Pablo Matera was sensational at blindside while Juan Manuel Leguizamon played like a man possessed as he tackled anything and everything in green.
  • Key Moment: Morne Steyn's 71st minute penalty put the South Africans ahead and took the wind out of the Pumas' sails. Try-scoring chances were at a premium which meant Steyn's accuracy was key for the Springboks.
  • Hero of the Game: I never thought I'd write this, but Steve Walsh played a blinder as referee. The potential acts of ill-discipline were dealt with well by Walsh as he used his TMO well to aid his interpretation of the game. And he even apologised when he got a scrum call wrong - an impressive performance.
  • Villain of the Game: The game might be overshadowed by two allegations of foul play made against the Pumas. The first was a possible eye gouge on Francois Louw and the second occurred when Eben Etzebeth claimed he had been bitten by one of the Argentineans. Walsh checked the first with the TMO which was inconclusive and both are likely to be looked at by the citing commissioner. If either incident is proved then the guilty party should feel the full weight of the law.
  • Talking Point: Argentina's performance will draw widespread acclaim as they bounced back well from their 60-point drubbing last week. But that elusive win is still escaping them. Their next and best shot will be when Australia are in town but you have to wonder how badly this loss will hit their morale after they put everything on the line.
  • Play of the Game: South Africa's try was a lesson in rugby execution. A failed kick from Felipe Contepomi found Morne Steyn who passed it to JJ Engelbrecht whose quick hands gave Bjorn Basson all the space he needed to dart in. Space was at a premium and linebreaks could be counted on the fingers of one hand but Basson did well.

South Africa survived a massive scare to beat Argentina 22-17 in Mendoza on Saturday.

The Pumas raced into an early lead before being pegged back by the Boks before the break, with Morne Steyn's composed performance sealing the win in the closing stages. Argentina started on the front foot and they took an early lead when flanker Juan Manuel Leguizamon barged over in the second minute after a lineout close to the Boks line.

Felipe Contepomi added the extras from the touchline to give the hosts a 7-0 lead, but Springboks stand-off Steyn soon cut the deficit when he slotted a penalty after the Pumas were penalised at the scrum. Contepomi restored the lead with a 35-metre penalty in the 11th minute but there was soon action at the other end, with Bjorn Basson going over in the corner for South Africa following some great hands from the backs on the basis of a solid scrum.

Steyn converted to level the scores at 10-10 after 15 minutes. The game then settled down but Argentina claimed a lead at half-time when centre Marcelo Bosch barged past JJ Engelbrecht and Jannie du Plessis in midfield to claim his second Test try. Contepomi added a simple conversion, before another Steyn penalty on the stroke of half-time saw the Pumas lead 17-13.

The second half started with an element of controversy as Argentina were penalised and the TMO checked for a possible eye gouge from flanker Pablo Matera on Francois Louw, but there was no clear evidence, with Steyn staying focused to kick another three points. The Pumas were then dealt a blow as Contepomi had to be replaced by Santiago Fernandez after he looked to be in discomfort following a knock, before tempers then started to flare, with Springboks lock Eben Etzebeth claiming he was bitten.

Again, there was no clear television evidence, and Bosch lined up a penalty attempt for Argentina, which went wide. With only one point in it, the pressure was beginning to tell, but when Argentina collapsed a maul, Steyn made no mistake as he kicked the resulting penalty as the Springboks claimed a two-point advantage.

South Africa were then awarded another penalty, and again Steyn did not miss as his side ran out 22-17 winners.

Argentina's Julio Farias Cabello looks for the offload © Getty Images
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