Goats slaughter Pumas, but more questions than answers


There are quite a few tasty tamales waiting for the Springbok coaches Jacques Nienaber and Rassie Erasmus when they reflect on Saturday’s warm-up test against Argentina in the Estadio Jose Amalafitani in Buenos Aires.

The Springboks deservedly won 24-13 after scoring 21 points after the break after the Pumas led 10-3.

The age-old truth that you only need to score shortly before or after the break was true again, as two lightning tries by Canan Moodie and Makazole Mapimpi extinguished the Pumas’ fire.

From then on, the Goats were completely in control.

They dominated the fixed facets, pinning, jumping, grinding, drifting and rolling the Argentinians behind the advantage line.

All that bothered was the large number of penalties the Springboks conceded. But don’t lose sight of the fact that the Pumas are masters of playing offside, pulling players’ shirts, not bumping the ball and falling over the ball from the wrong side.

It was a very important victory away from home, because the Boks went down against the Pumas last Saturday at Ellis Park in the second half of the Rugby Championship Test.

On Saturday, the shoe was on the other foot, because the Pumas ran out of steam.

Nienaber and Erasmus show their World Cup squad on Tuesday and where there was a clear picture before the test, quite a few Boks really shuffled the cards on Saturday.

Damian Willemse solidified his place as second full-back and the mercurial Moodie did everything that is expected of a test winger. He was almost unstoppable on the way to the goal line and judging by his performance, he should make the World Cup squad. But at the expense of Mapimpi?

Then the center André Esterhuizen strengthened his claim to get the tick above or together with Damian de Allende with a very solid performance in the midfield.

Esterhuizen quickly dived the Pumas, got over the advantage line every time and his ball distribution was one of his great assets.

Herschel Jantjies also took his chances as substitute scrum-half and delivered one of his best performances. Yes, the blow had already been delivered when he was sent up, but he played a big role in Manie Libbok remaining calm and his self-confidence skyrocketing.

Among the forwards, Jean Kleyn was a real workhorse. He was very prominent in the lines, drove well and his tackles were excellent. But will he reach the pole above, for example, Lood de Jager?

Trevor Nyakane (tight end prop) has also fully recovered from his injuries while substitute prop Gerhard Steenekamp also performed very well.

Scorers: South Africa 24 (3): Tries: Canaan Moodie, Makazole Mapimpi. Goal kick: Manie Libbok. Penalty goals: Libbok (4)

Argentina 13 (10): Three: Gonzalo Bertranou. Goal kick: Emiliano Boffelli. Penalty goal: Boffelli.