Rugby Union


Boks' fast finish results in lost opportunity for Pumas

Mendoza, Argentina: South Africa scored 10 unanswered second-half points to snatch a lucky 16-16 draw with newcomers Argentina in Saturday's Rugby Championship match in Mendoza.

Fielding virtually the same side well beaten 27-6 in Cape Town last weekend, the Pumas were vastly improved and led 16-6 early in the second half at the Estadio Mundialista Malvinas Argentinas.

A Morne Steyn penalty cut the deficit to seven points before Francois Steyn charged down a kick by Marcelo Bosch and raced through to touch down for a converted try.

It was a bittersweet day for Argentina in front of a near-capacity crowd in the 45,000-seater stadium as they ended a run of 14 consecutive losses against the Springboks.

''There was a massive improvement from Cape Town so I am disappointed that we did not win,'' Argentina captain Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe said.

South Africa skipper Jean de Villiers said: ''We have only ourselves to blame as there were scoring opportunities wasted. Once again I have to admit that we must take a long, hard look at our individual displays.''

Argentina led 13-3 at half-time and it took South Africa 57 minutes to threaten a try only for Patricio Albacete to turn the ball over with the Springboks deep inside the 22.

Both teams will rue missed kicks at goal, with new Argentina fullback Martin Rodriguez kicking three penalties and converting a Santiago Fernandez try, but fluffing two other penalties.