My Sports App Download
500 MB Free on Subscription

South Africa 32-12 Argentina: Much-changed Springboks show strength in depth

Jaden Hendrikse scored a late debut try as a much-changed South Africa side started their Rugby Championship campaign with a 32-12 win over Argentina.

Jacques Nienaber made 10 alterations to his starting line-up following a series-clinching win over the British and Irish Lions last weekend, but the Springboks were too strong for the Pumas.

Cobus Reinach raced away for a sublime breakaway try and Aphelele Fassi finished clinically in the first half for the world champions at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday.

Elton Jantjies scored 17 points with the boot to keep South Africa in command and Hendrikse came off the bench to go over in the closing stages.

Argentina could only muster four Nicolas Sanchez penalties as the Springboks made it 10 wins in their past 11 Tests in their first Rugby Championship match since winning the 2019 tournament.

Reinach capitalised on a loose pass to dart away from inside his own half and score a superb try that was brilliantly converted by Jantjies, who had opened the scoring with a penalty.

Sanchez got the Pumas on the board from the tee, but wing Fassi showed great hands to keep a clever kick from Jantjies in and crossed in the left corner following a juggling act.

South Africa were bossing the forward battle and went in at the break with a 21-9 lead after two penalties apiece from the livewire Jantjies and Sanchez.

The trusty boot of Sanchez reduced the deficit to nine points early in the second half, but Jantjies responded by sending another two kicks sailing between the posts.

Backs saw little of the ball in a bruising battle and Fassi had what he thought was his second try of the match ruled out, as Malcolm Marx played the ball on the ground in an earlier passage of play.

Hendrikse put the icing on the cake when he went over in the corner following a powerful run from Marco van Staden.

Boks pack a punch yet again

It may have been a vastly different side, but it was very much the same old Springboks.

The pack laid the foundations for yet another victory and back-row Jasper Wiese was outstanding, making 12 carries and beating seven defenders.

Lood De Jager also played a massive part, not missing any of his 16 tackles, while Kwagga Smith also grasped his chance, missing just two of 17 tackles in an almighty battle.

Reinach pulls the strings

Scrum-half Reinach was one of only five players to retain his starting spot following the dramatic win over the Lions in the third Test.

The pivot pulled the strings when he got the opportunity, showing a sharp turn of foot to score a memorable try and making 48 passes.