Jacques Nienaber’s Springboks are putting themselves in position to lift the Rugby Championship with a dominant 22 – 6 first half lead over Argentina in Buenos Aires.
It was all Argentina to start the fixture but unfortunately for the hosts they couldn’t translate their pressure into points outside of a long range Emiliano Boffelli penalty.
As the Puma pressure subsided, the Boks began to put the squeeze on and forced the Pumas into conceding a penalty try for taking out scrumhalf Jaden Hendrikse off the ball.
Within a few minutes the Pumas were in trouble again as Santiago Carreras was shown yellow for an offside tackle.
Down to fourteen men, the Pumas were punished as the Boks got over for their second try of the fixture as Jaden Hendrikse threw a beautiful dummy to go over untouched.
In the same phase of play the Pumas committed another off the ball tackle this time on Lood de Jager which they were given a further warning for.
Fourteen minutes later the Boks got their third as Malcolm Marx powered his way from a maul and with the Damien Willemse conversion the Boks stretched to a 22 – 6 lead.
South Africa would get over the line once more before the end of the half but it was just that De Jager knocked on over the line. Following their previous warning Los Pumas were shown a second yellow card before the break which will no doubt infuriate head coach Michael Cheika.
Perhaps the most promising sign from the Boks has been their more expansive approach which they have worked in alongside their direct powerful forward play.
The fixture has also highlighted that the combination of Hendrikse and Willemse in the halfbacks has give the Boks a new attacking lease which has paid massive dividends.