South Africa 24-18 Argentina: S'busiso Nkosi scores two tries to light up Pretoria
Elton Jantjies adds 14 points with the boot for Springboks
By Sky Sports rugby union
Last Updated: 17/08/19 10:14pm
Wing S'busiso Nkosi scored two excellent solo tries as much-changed South Africa survived a massive scare at home to see off Argentina with a 24-18 victory in their one-off test at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.
Springbok flyhalf Elton Jantjies kicked 14 points as the home side battled to open up the visitors defence in a scrappy World Cup warm-up clash that included numerous errors from both sides.
Argentina scored tries through lock Guido Petti and skipper Pablo Matera and might have had more were it not for poor handling at vital moments as they slipped to a ninth successive test defeat.
The Boks fielded a completely new starting XV from the one that thumped Argentina 46-13 in Salta the week before to lift the Rugby Championship. The South American side also came into the match with 10 changes, which no doubt contributed to the disjointed nature of the contest.
A scrappy opening 15 minutes were riddled with penalties before Elton Jantjies kicked over a simple effort from on the Argentina 22 to give the Boks the lead, but Joaquín Díaz Bonilla levelled from the tee.
The game needed a moment of brilliance to light up a dour contest, and the first sniff of a chance for either side all evening saw Nkosi show wonderful feet and pace to dance past Pumas shirts down the right and dive over.
Jantjies hit the post with the conversion, which allowed Argentina to move in front after Guido Petti showed brilliant pace to collect the ball on the halfway and romp away to score under the posts.
Diaz Bonilla added the conversion, but he was not as accurate minutes into the re-start, as Nkosi then added his second score by jinking past three Argentina defenders to continue to light up the encounter.
Benjamin Urdapilleta entered the fray after 55 minutes, and he immediately reduced the deficit from the tee to make it 15-13, but after Jantjies re-established the five-point deficit, Pablo Matera ran clear to make it 18-18 following effective work in the maul.
Jantjies' boot kept the Springboks just with their noses in front as he added the six crucial points either side of Lucas Mensa's disallowed try following obstruction from Jeronimo De la Fuente on Vincent Koch.