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Du Plessis injury takes shine off Springboks' opening salvo

Date

David Legge

Crunch time ... Argentina's Marcelo Bosch.

Crunch time ... Argentina's Marcelo Bosch. Photo: Gallo Images/Getty Images

CAPE TOWN: South African hooker Bismarck du Plessis has been ruled out for the rest of the season after being injured in the opening minutes of the Springboks' scrappy 21-point victory over Argentina in the Rugby Championship.

There was no fairytale debut for Argentina as they fell to a more creative South Africa at Newlands. The win was soured, however, by news that Du Plessis had been diagnosed with knee ligament damage following the game and has been withdrawn from the squad to travel to Argentina for the return leg on Sunday, Sydney time.

The match was won and lost in the first 20 minutes of the second half when the Pumas missed three penalty kicks after trailing 20-6 at half-time before right winger Bryan Habana snatched an opportunist try.

Injured ... Bismarck du Plessis of South Africa.

Injured ... Bismarck du Plessis of South Africa. Photo: Gallo Images/Getty Images

''We played well in patches but there is a lot of work ahead and we need to be hard on ourselves when analysing this match,'' Springboks captain Jean de Villiers said.

''There was a lot to play for today after the terrible scenes at Lonmin mine two days ago. We have a huge job to perform for our country - we have to offer people hope.''

Clashes between armed police and miners striking for higher salaries in the North West province on Thursday led to 34 deaths, dozens of injuries and hundreds of arrests.

''Argentina made history today and we feel honoured as the first players from the country to play in the southern hemisphere championship,'' said skipper and No.8 Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe. ''This was a high-intensity rugby match and I am proud of my players for never giving up. I am also grateful to those who worked so hard for so many years to get us this opportunity.''

South Africa will be disappointed at failing to secure a bonus-point fourth try from late pressure in what will probably be the easiest of six fixtures in the former Tri Nations.

Five-eighth Morne Steyn was back to his place-kicking best for the Springboks after a poor mid-year series against England, landing three conversions and two penalties for a perfect record.

Argentina could have done with him as outside-centre Marcelo Bosch failed from an early second-half penalty attempt and then fly-half Juan Martin Hernandez fluffed two closer-range kicks at goal.

The Pumas pack recovered from a poor start in which they conceded free kicks at the first two scrums for early engagements to hold their own in the set pieces and win some crucial turnovers.

But the backs never looked like scoring a try and this will be an area of concern for coach Santiago Phelan before the return match in western provincial capital Mendoza.

Fullback Zane Kirchner and breakaway Marcell Coetzee crossed the try line in the first half for South Africa with Steyn converting both and kicking two penalties.

Hernandez, back in the blue and white of the Pumas after a three-year injuries-induced absence, succeeded with both his first-half penalty attempts for the South Americans.

AFP

Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 0vs FJI 0 05:00Twic
TGA 0vs GEO 0 21:00Kholm
IRE 0vs CAN 0 23:30MilS
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs JPN 0 01:45Brig
FRA 0vs ITA 0 05:00Twic
SAM 0vs USA 0 21:00Brig
WAL 0vs URU 0 23:30MilS
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs ARG 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 0vs JPN 0 23:30Kholm
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs ROM 0 05:00Olym
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs NAM 0 05:00Olym
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 0vs GEO 0 01:45Kholm
ITA 0vs CAN 0 23:30Ella
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SAM 0 01:45Villa
ENG 0vs WAL 0 05:00Twic
AUS 0vs URU 0 21:00Villa
SCO 0vs USA 0 23:30Ella
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 0vs ROM 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 0vs NAM 0 01:45Sand
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs CAN 0 05:00stadium:mk
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs GEO 0 05:00MilS
SAM 0vs JPN 0 23:30stadium:mk
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SCO 0 01:45St James' Park
ENG 0vs AUS 0 06:00Twic
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 0vs TGA 0 00:30KPS
IRE 0vs ITA 0 02:45Olym
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 0vs ROM 0 02:45KPS
FJI 0vs URU 0 06:00stadium:mk
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs USA 0 02:45Olym
NAM 0vs GEO 0 06:00Sand
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 0vs TGA 0 06:00St James' Park
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 0vs SCO 0 00:30St James' Park
AUS 0vs WAL 0 02:45Twic
ENG 0vs URU 0 06:00Manch
ARG 0vs NAM 0 22:00KPS
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 0vs ROM 0 00:30Sand
FRA 0vs IRE 0 02:45MilS
USA 0vs JPN 0 06:00Kholm
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinB 0vs RUpA 0 02:00Twic
WinC 0vs RUpD 0 06:00MilS
WinD 0vs RUpC 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinA 0vs RUpB 0 02:00Twic
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF1 0vs WQF2 0 02:00Twic
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF3 0vs WQF4 0 03:00Twic
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00Olym
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
France 0 0 0 0 0 0
New Zealand 0 0 0 0 0 0
Canada 0 0 0 0 0 0
Tonga 0 0 0 0 0 0
Japan 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Romania 0 0 0 0 0 0
Argentina 0 0 0 0 0 0
England 0 0 0 0 0 0
Georgia 0 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 0 0 0 0 0 0
USA 0 0 0 0 0 0
Italy 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ireland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Fiji 0 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Namibia 0 0 0 0 0 0
South Africa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Wales 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
 

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