Springboks take revenge on Argentina

South Africa avenged a humiliating Rugby Championship home loss to Argentina last weekend with a 26-12 World Cup warm-up triumph in Buenos Aires Saturday.

Wingers Bryan Habana and Lwazi Mvovo scored first-half tries during a five-minute purple patch to give the Springboks a 20-9 half-time lead they never looked like surrendering in a much-improved display.

South Africa had a totally different mindset from seven days ago with a side showing eight changes demonstrating a hunger for success with the recalled Patrick Lambie outstanding at fly-half.

Argentina could not replicate the scrum and breakdown dominance and backline creativity shown in Durban and were forced to attack far from the Springbok tryline.

The hosts also suffered two major pre-match blows with injured prop Marcos Ayerza and ill centre Juan Manuel Hernandez withdrawing.

The Pumas almost snatched the lead just 105 seconds after the kick-off with three-try Durban star Juan Imhoff bundled into touch just short of the line by lock Eben Etzebeth.

Lambie put South Africa ahead from a seventh-minute penalty and then the first scrum attracted huge interest given the Argentine dominance of that facet seven days ago.

After New Zealand referee Glen Jackson ordered two resets, the Pumas were penalised and the visitors achieved a huge psychological boost.

The second scrum also needed to be reset, this time South Africa were punished, and Argentina fly-half Nicolas Sanchez slotted the penalty to equalise.

Lambie, one of eight personnel changes from the team stunned 37-25 by the South Americans, kicked another penalty and the Springboks led 6-3 midway through the first half.

Pumas loose forward Juan Manuel Leguizamon slapped the ball out of the hands of scrum-half Ruan Pienaar to prevent a certain try in the corner.

But it did not take the Springboks much longer to cross the tryline.

Habana will not score many simpler tries than that in Buenos Aires as he took a long skip pass from Pienaar and dotted down after sustained pressure.

Lambie converted from the touchline and the 50,000 sell-out home crowd were silenced as Argentina trailed by 10 points under a clear, late-afternoon sky.

South Africa struck again just four minutes later thanks to a brilliant run by Mvovo after loose forward Schalk Burger flicked a basketball-style pass into his hands.

Making a rare start, Mvovo cut inside three would-be tacklers for a great score and Lambie had the easy task of converting.

Rattled Argentina reduced the 17-point Springboks advantage to 11 by half-time thanks to two Sanchez penalties.

The second half produced just nine poins with Lambie kicking two penalties and Sanchez one while Argentina lock Tomas Lavanini was sin-binned near the end for a no-arms charge into a ruck.

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