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Six Springbok Tries Compensate For Pollard Kicking Woes Vs Argentina

South Africa scored a bonus-point 34-21 Rugby Championship first round victory over Argentina Saturday with six tries compensating for woeful goal-kicking by Handre Pollard.

Wingers Aphiwe Dyantyi and Makazole Mapimpi bagged two each in Durban as the Springboks dominated the second half having trailed by nine points earlier.

Experienced fly-half Pollard missed five of seven shots at goal, which could have proven costly against stronger opposition than the Pumas.

New Argentina coach Mario Ledesma watched his team run out of gas after leading 14-10 at half-time as they suffered a 23rd loss in 29 Tests since the 2015 World Cup.

But the South Americans impressed sufficiently in patches to suggest they could be tougher opponents when the teams clash again next Saturday in Mendoza.

Winning captain and loose forward Siya Kolisi said: “We did not start the way we wanted to today. Discipline was a problem. It is something that we have been working on for the past five weeks.”

The home side established a foothold in Argentine territory from the kick-off and constant pressure paid off on eight minutes when centre Lukhanyo Am scored his first Test try.

Nicolas Sanchez created and scored the first Argentine try on 15 minutes when his up-and-under kick was not cleared and he regained possession to go over between the posts. A Sanchez conversion gave the South Americans a two-point lead they stretched to nine when the fly-half also added the extra points to a Pablo Matera try.

When Kolisi was dispossessed near the halfway line, the visitors moved the ball quickly down the left wing and Matera scored.

South Africa, who had plenty of ball and spent a lot of time inside the Argentine half, got back into the match on 32 minutes through a touch of magic from Willie le Roux.

A perfectly weighted cross kick from the veteran full-back found Dyantyi who powered over, but Pollard once more failed to convert. Pollard was having an off-day with his goal-kicking and also fluffed a penalty attempt just before the break, leaving Argentina with a 14-10 half-time advantage.

The tide turned dramatically in the second half with tries from Dyantyi and Mapimpi (two) lifting South Africa to a 27-14 lead despite Pollard struggling from the kicking tee.

A Matias Moroni try converted by Sanchez cut the gap to six points before De Klerk scored and Pollard converted from in front of the posts to complete the scoring.



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Author: Chris Kelleher

Student whose interests lie in sports ranging from Darts to MMA, with the likes of Golf, Boxing and Soccer in between. Closet wrestling fan and a lover of sports psychology and stiff jabs.