Ross Roche

By Ross Roche

Senior sports writer

Lukhanyo Am injury worry after Boks beat Argentina in Buenos Aires

Outside of the worry over Am’s fitness the Bok management will be pleased with an impressive second half performance from the team.

The Springboks impressive 24-13 win over Argentina in Buenos Aires on Saturday night was soured by an injury to influential playmaker Lukhanyo Am who was replaced at halftime in the match.

Coach Jacques Nienaber did not know the extent of the injury to Am, who took a knock to the knee from a heavy tackle in the first half and looked uncomfortable until the break.

It is thus a big worry for the Boks who already have two major players in captain Siya Kolisi and Handre Pollard on the sidelines, and that could see three key senior players in doubt going into the showpiece event.

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Hopefully Am’s injury is not a major concern and he will be available for the Boks next warm-up match against Wales in a fortnight.

However, if it is serious it will be announced at the teams World Cup squad announcement which will take place on Tuesday afternoon.

“To be honest I am not 100% sure (how bad the injury is). At halftime the doc just said he can’t continue. So I am not sure what his injury is,” said Nienaber.

Impressive second half

Outside of the worry over Am’s fitness, the Bok management will be pleased with an impressive second half performance from the team that turned the match on its head.

The first half was blighted by very poor finishing from the Boks, which meant they trailed 10-3 at the break despite having dominated most of the stats in the opening 40.

But a superb start to the second half saw them power into the lead after 45 minutes, with them not relinquishing it over the rest of the match.

Hooker Bongi Mbonambi, captaining the Boks for the first time in his career, was thrilled with the effort of his teammates and is now looking toward the World Cup.

“We are very happy. We worked really hard this week. This group arrived here on Monday, ready to go to work. We knew what the challenge was, playing Argentina away from home is never easy and you saw today it was a tough grind for us,” said Mbonambi.

“This game was no different to any other game. We treat every match in a Springbok jersey as a massive Test match. You saw today it was a Test match, it wasn’t a warm-up game. It was proper international rugby.

“Thanks to the crowd for a great atmosphere and thanks to Argentina for treating us well. From now on we just want to build towards the future and the Rugby World Cup.”