Argentina 32-19 South Africa: Pumas stun Boks in Mendoza
Last Updated: 26/08/18 12:21am
Nicholas Sanchez produced a marvellous display to guide Argentina to a 32-19 win over South Africa in Mendoza on Saturday.
The win ended an 11-match losing streak in the Rugby Championship as Sanchez starred for the Pumas, scoring 17 points in the first half as they built a 27-7 half-time lead at Estadio Malvinas Argentinas.
South Africa, who triumphed 34-21 when the teams met in Durban last weekend, dominated the second half but could only outscore Argentina by two tries to one.
Sanchez scored a try, three conversions, a penalty and a drop goal to inch within 10 points of Felipe Contepomi's record of 651 Test points for the Pumas and lead his team to a rare success in the southern hemisphere competition.
Winger Bautista Delguy scored two tries in the space of four minutes while Ramiro Moyano went over for the fourth Argentine score. Substitute Lionel Mapoe scored twice for Boks and captain Siya Kolisi got their other.
It was only Argentina's third win in 28 previous meetings with South Africa and came on the back of some powerful scrummaging, fast breaks with skilful inter-passing and a resilient second-half defence when the visitors threatened a comeback.
The 29-year-old Sanchez increased his tally of career Test points to 641 as he produced a sparkling individual performance in the first half.
South Africa scored the first try of the match when Kolisi slipped a Sanchez tackle to burst through a porous defence.
But two quick scores from 21-year-old wing Delguy, in his first year of international rugby, and another from Sanchez had the Pumas firmly in control with a 20-point lead at half-time.
Delguy's first, in the 19th minute, came after a line break by full-back Emiliano Boffelli. Then Delguy showed his pace and sidestepping skills in another quick break off the back of an advancing scrum for his second score.
Sanchez increased the home advantage after a quick dart down the left wing for a third home try and then produced a smart drop goal just before half-time to make it 27-7 at the break.
Soon after the interval, Argentina made the task even harder for South Africa when winger Moyano scored to make it 32-7.
The Springboks dominated the contest after that and Mapoe went over twice, in the 48th and 65th minutes, but they failed to conjure up a comeback victory despite camping on the Puma's line, where they encountered stubborn defence and were forced into making crucial errors.
Argentina next meet world champions New Zealand in Nelson on September 8 while South Africa play Australia in Brisbane the same day.