Springboks dispatch Argentina in opener

Springboks dispatch Argentina in opener”

Argentina's recent slump continued with a 37-15 defeat to South Africa on Saturday that left coach Daniel Hourcade frustrated with their meekness in the scrums and errors with ball in hand.

They won just one of their five matches played in South Africa during the Super Rugby season, though that came on the opening weekend at the Southern Kings at the same Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium where they play the Boks.

The South Africans are now hoping to build on a 3-0 clean-sweep of their June series against a depleted France.

"Their biggest threat is that they strike from first phase, hard at the breakdown, looking to turn ball over and get into general attack". "There were areas we felt needed improving so hopefully we will be better in the championship".

Putting pride back in the Springbok jersey is one of coach Allister Coetzee's main priorities after a woeful campaign which saw his team win only four of their 12 matches past year. Jantjies is a confidence kicker and he responded superbly.

South Africa will look to maintain this form, but they must back it up when the two sides meet in Salta, scene of a surprise Springboks defeat 12 months ago, next week.

Jantjies is successful with the kicking tee.

If they can repeat that, the distribution of scrum-half Landajo will be key to their hopes of getting under way in positive fashion.

South Africa: Andries Coetzee, Raymond Rhule, Jesse Kriel, Jan Serfontein, Courtnall Skosan, Elton Jantjies, Ross Cronje; Tendai Mtawarira, Malcolm Marx, Coenie Oosthuizen, Eben Etzebeth, Franco Mostert, Siya Kolisi, Jaco Kriel, Uzair Cassiem.

Argentina defended manfully and enjoyed little possession, but managed tries through experienced halfback Martin Landajo and winger Emiliano Boffelli. We have lots of grit plus a bit of flair, and that makes for a good mix that is exciting from a backline point of view. Most of our work will be done in South Africa - because otherwise you lose your most important training days ...

Tomas Cubelli (Argentina): "We have a style of play that bothers them". The message at halftime was for them to stay patient and that we'll find the space, and we did.

Elton Jantjies slotted three penalties to add to his four conversions, while Nicolas Sanchez posted a penalty for Argentina and Juan Martin Hernandez converted Boffelli's try. "Although they are a top-level team, a superpower, I think we can cause them problems".

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