/ The Rugby Championship 2014

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Argentina 31-33 South Africa
De Villiers praises role of the bench
ESPN Staff
August 24, 2014
South Africa celebrate their win over Argentina © Getty Images

South Africa skipper Jean de Villiers admitted his side have work to do in the scrum but praised the role of the bench in the wake of their 33-31 win over Argentina in Salta on Saturday.

Argentina enjoyed more possession and territory and at one stage led by 12 points but South Africa rallied to kill off any hopes of a first win in the Rugby Championship for the Pumas. The pace of the game changed when Boks coach Heyneke Meyer started to utilise his options on the bench and De Villiers praised their impact.

He said: "That is not saying that the players who started did badly, but our bench, whom we see as impact players rather than replacements, certainly made an impact and that is probably where the difference was."

De Villiers said he was happy they "could pull it through" and Meyer was pleased with their win, a triumph which keeps them at the top of the Rugby Championship tree.

"We don't want to say every week that we've shown great character, but we've now won nine out of our last 10 away games and I think the guys have shown that they know how to win," Meyer said. "At one stage, we were down and out and the team came back.

"We know there are a lot of areas we have to work on, but we're still in this competition."

Argentina enjoyed the upper-hand in the scrum and De Villiers has identified that as an area to work on ahead of their game against Australia in Perth on September 6.

"There were problems at scrum time, but when it really counted, the pack did well," De Villiers said. "This team is a work in progress. And there are lots of errors to be corrected.

"Youngsters like Damian de Allende and Handré Pollard are on a steep learning curve and they will get better and better. At this stage, we'll just take the win."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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