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Sunday Aug 26, 2012

Argentina and South Africa battle to a tense draw in Mendoza

Argentina and South Africa battle to a tense draw in Mendoza
18
Comments

Argentina lived up to their reputation as a very difficult side to beat at home as they led the Springboks for the majority of their Mendoza Test match, before the two sides shared the points with a 16-16 draw come full time.

The home side were fired up from the get-go, while the visitors looked lacklustre and at times leaderless under the physical confrontation of Los Pumas. 

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer relied on a charge-down try to help the Boks, who have never lost to Argentina, save a bit of face. The breakdown was a particular area of concern for South Africa, where their new loose trio combination failed to deal with the passion of the home side.

“All credit to Argentina. We were not good enough and they played very well, but we let our country and ourselves down tonight,” said Meyer after the game.

“Argentina came hard at us as expected, creating many difficult situations for our inexperienced team, and we were found wanting at times when it came to mental toughness.

“I am sorry the way we played did not honour the great welcome we had in Mendoza. The people can be proud of their team,” said Meyer of Argentina, who were playing only their second match in the expanded southern hemisphere competition.

Morne Steyn had a chance to take the lead with seven minutes left, but his kick sailed wide.

Inspirational Argentine captain Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe said that his team had made progress, and now have an even bigger task ahead of them.

“There was much talk this week about improving how we got out of our own half and for a big part of the match we did that well. The key factors were attitude, commitment and confidence.

“We made progress from last week in Cape Town and now we must prepare for the biggest challenges we will face as players,” he said of next months tour of Australasia.

New Zealand lead the Rugby Championship on eight points, followed by South Africa on six, Argentina on two, and Australia with zero.

How do you think Argentina will fare away against New Zealand and Australia? Who was your player of the match? Let us know in the comments below.

18 Comments

  • 4:05 AM 29/08/2012

    Agree with Jon. SA's game suits Argentina. I watched both games last weekend and the speed of the NZ-AUS game is quite different, much faster. SA is particularly slow, at least they were in Mendoza and not much better vs. England. Interestingly SA was slow vs Argies despite very quick service from Hougaard, who was dynamic. I somewhat disagree with Facepalm in this regard, Pienaar is very good no doubt but Hougaard was one of a few Boks who stood up in Mendoza (Alberts was the other one; Etzebeth and, yes, Krishner were solid, the rest was poor). A lot of overreaction both from AUS and RSA after last weekend. Beating the ABs on current form needs a serious off-night from the Kiwis (eg. 2nd Irish test) or some serious niggling of McCaw plus an off-night for Carter (eg. Chiefs vs Crusaders semi). Australia not up for it atm, too many injuries and out of form players, not enough depth. But they are still a very good team, top 3 in the world for sure. They are really the only ones who match (or come within 22 points) of the ABs for the combination of speed, aggression, skills. But they just don't have the depth; or the passion right now after a tough SR season, and this may ultimately be Dean's undoing. He has done as well as he could hope with this team. As for the Boks, the game plan is a bit too simple and not that well executed. Lots of turnovers when the ball gets to the backs, credit to the Argie backs, who are aggressive on defense and capitalize on isolated prey, but also shame on the forwards, whi need to. E more mobile. Ultimately though the problem is at the pivot, when the 5/8 offers no attacking threat and either passes or (mostly) kicks, the defense has a much easier time. Tough to blame one guy, especially one who is so reliable with the boot...so blame it in the Player AND the system he is asked to play.

    Reply
  •  moddeur
    moddeur
    9:17 PM 28/08/2012

    I don't know how my comment ended up here on the wrong thread (it was aimed at Round 2 of the Top 14). Horrible video of Azam diving, that's just depressing!

    Reply
  •  pretzel
    pretzel
    5:10 PM 28/08/2012

    Granted it was years ago but I always cringe at this clip of a front rower: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rJrZdhtJQ4

    Reply
  •  moddeur
    moddeur
    4:04 PM 28/08/2012

    I watch a lot of Top14 and my feeling is that the whole "diving" smudge on French rugby is caused by one in every three scrum-halves, and about 1 back (center, wing, fullback) per team. I've almost never seen a front-rower go down. I hope I'm objective, because I wouldn't like the following definition of rugby to require an adjustment: "Rugby is a game in which as soon as an Italian player goes down, he gets right back up on his feet"

    Reply
  •  facepalm
    facepalm
    2:44 PM 27/08/2012

    Francois Hougard is a great athlete but not a great scrum half. He just isn't as good as Pianaar. Pianaar could also assume kicking duties from the woeful Morne Steyn. I'd be surprised if he doesn't start next game.

    Reply
  •  facepalm
    facepalm
    2:41 PM 27/08/2012

    Their is no shame in losing an away game in Argentina. The constant noise of the crowd and sea of blue would affect any player.

    Reply
  •  proptank
    proptank
    12:31 PM 27/08/2012

    it was a mistake by the commentator, unless mendoza has moved considerably since i was there it's the andes that you can see in the background. nothing to do with the alps.

    Reply
  •  erik
    erik
    12:26 PM 27/08/2012

    Great job by the Puma's, I have to say this makes the All Black's job in winning again much easier.

    Reply
  •  reality
    reality
    11:35 AM 27/08/2012

    Maybe they're Alpine mountains, but can you say 'The Alps' when talking about any 'young' mountains? I thought the term 'The Alps' was restricted to...well, The Alps. Or am I wrong?

    Reply
  •  pretzel
    pretzel
    11:34 AM 27/08/2012

    I don't think it was the "old boys club" in a sense, I read somewhere that they felt that Argentina's future lay in the SH, and to be honest I agree with it. I'd rather see them progress their game in the SH that in the NH. They play a bit like France I find, tough but still fast, and France is/was one of the only NH teams which played a BIT like a SH team.... I think it is a good choice to stick them in the 3N (now 4N) it will improve their rugby and they'll have to face some gruelling travelling before each match, which is all positive in the end...

    Reply
  •  rugby08
    rugby08
    10:56 AM 27/08/2012

    More like less crap than South Africa

    Reply
  •  colombes
    colombes
    9:56 AM 27/08/2012

    This draw is like a victory for the Pumas, as they maybe couldn't expect it for their first 4N edition. it just shows that Argentina has its place into the Four Nations and will shut some mouths in the SH. Argentinian stadiums are always a very hard place to play and win, so no shame for boks to go back with a draw

    Reply
  •  jeri
    jeri
    8:25 AM 27/08/2012

    Holy crap Argentina was awesome!

    Reply
  •  moddeur
    moddeur
    7:54 AM 27/08/2012

    When you're a visitor, you have got to know that the Argies are serious about playing at home, especially when they name the stadium you play in after the Falkland islands (Malvinas). France knows something about it, losing 5 of their last 6 matches in Argentina (the 6th match, and victory for France, was only this summer against the Argentina B team, while the A team was away preparing the Four Nations).

    Reply
  •  gallego
    gallego
    4:21 AM 27/08/2012

    Walsh, you're still awful as fuck, mate.

    Reply
  • 3:46 AM 27/08/2012

    Sorry mate , they were alps, argentinian alps . nice touch I thought . Pumas were great , being irish I'm well aware of their ability . They won't lose too many at home ,and will start to kick ass in november, in europe on a regular basis . Not being let into the 6 nations by the old boys club may end up being one of the most important things to happen argentinian rugby .At least if their players start playing super rugby (because they are good enough)their season would become more manageable for their clubs,coaches and trainers .That could only help their cause

    Reply
  •  pretzel
    pretzel
    2:54 AM 27/08/2012

    Absolutely brilliant by the Pumas... A lot of top teams fans comment on how "unless it's a win then it's nothing to celebrate" but this is truly a loss to the Boks and victory to the Puma's. I was sceptical of how well they'd do in their first year, I truly had them notched as the "whipping boys"..."wooden spoon" carriers etc etc... But apparently not..

    Reply
  •  reality
    reality
    1:32 AM 27/08/2012

    "Those are the foothills of the Alps"? Oh my God. Anyway, super turnover there at the end from the winger; he really saved Argentina's bacon. I can see them giving Australia a good run for their money now. I'd say a draw against SA and a victory over Australia in their first year could be considered a resounding success.

    Reply


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