Marcelo Endelli/Getty Images
The Springboks celebrate after sealing their win over the Pumas in Buenos Aires on Sunday (NZ time).
The Springboks have drawn level with the All Blacks at the top of the Rugby Championship table after punishing the Pumas 36-20 in Buenos Aires on Sunday (NZ time).
Having surged to a 22-6 halftime lead at Estadio Libertadores de America, it looked like South Africa would have to settle for four competition points, if that, as the hosts roared back to within two with 10 minutes to play.
However, a 75th minute try to Damian de Allende was followed by a last-minute stunner to Malcolm Marx, as the hooker juggled an inside ball from Makazole Mapimpi and went 15 metres to dive over for the bonus-point clincher in the five-tries-to-two win.
The result means South Africa have equalled New Zealand on 14 competition points with one round to play in the competition. The All Blacks host Australia (10 points) at Eden Park next Saturday night, before the Springboks host Argentina (nine points) in Durban at 4.05am Sunday (NZ time) to decide it all.
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If teams are equal on points at the conclusion of the championship the first tiebreaker is most wins in the championship, followed by most wins against the other teams tied on points, so it’s set to come down to the third tiebreaker of points for and against in the series. Currently, the All Blacks are on +41, the Springboks +28, the Wallabies -26 and the Pumas -43.
South Africa looked set to improve their differential markedly on Sunday after going on a 19-point scoring spree in a dozen minutes during the second quarter, which sent them to a big halftime advantage.
New Zealand referee James Doleman and Kiwi TMO counterpart Chris Hart had a busy day at the office, and the Boks opened their account through a 21st minute penalty try, with Pumas first-five Santiago Carreras finding himself in the sin bin after tackling halfback Jaden Hendrikse over the line from an offside position.
Hendrikse soon later got his own try after lineout maul ball was worked to the middle and he dummied, coasted through a gap and dotted down under the bar, and then Marx profited from a rolling maul to have South Africa holding a bonus-point advantage for being three tries clear.
It didn’t look like getting better for Argentina when they lost halfback Gonzalo Bertranou to the bin just before the break on the back of a team warning, however, despite being mistake-riddled, the home side held the game scoreless through the third quarter, then enjoyed a comeback as the Boks’ discipline took a slide.
Willie le Roux was yellow carded in the 60th minute after a team warning, then half a dozen minutes later the visitors were down to 13 when Kwagga Smith made contact around Tomas Cubelli’s neck and didn’t immediately release him so Doleman and the officials opted for a yellow card and penalty try.
And just two minutes later Matias Moroni made all sorts of impact off the bench with a beautiful run to score under the posts, and at 22-20, it was anyone’s game.
However, with the Boks restored to their full complement, they kept their heads, got into position and duly struck, with second-five de Allende crashing his way over close to the line to essentially seal it, before Marx iced the cake with the vital extra point.
AT A GLANCE
Springboks 36 (Malcolm Marx 2, Penalty try, Jaden Hendrikse, Damian de Allende tries; Damian Willemse con, pen, Francois Steyn 2 con) Pumas 20 (Penalty try, Matias Moroni try; Emiliano Boffelli con, 2 pen). HT: 22-6
Source link : https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/international/300690935/springboks-draw-level-with-all-blacks-in-rugby-championship-after-punishing-pumas-3620
Publish date : 2022-09-17 21:40:00