Argentina made the Springboks work for their 30-23 victory in their opening clash of the Castle Lager Rugby Championship in Nelspruit on Saturday.
Statistics taken from the All Out Rugby App demonstrated clashes between the sides are no longer a one-sided affair. Although the scoreboard reflects a seven-point victory for the Boks, it could easily have been one for the South American powerhouse. Scoring 17 points in the closing 10 minutes of the match South Africa used its get-out-of-jail-free card in a dramatic finish.
In the end it was one converted try that saved the Boks’ blushes as Warren Whiteley clinched the thriller at the death. It was an otherwise equal encounter although Los Pumas enjoyed 55 percent of both the territory and the possession.
The visitors went on the offensive on Saturday making 97 to 76 carries in the match. The gritty Argentinians made double the amount of clean breaks finding the gap on eight occasions. The Boks beat one more defender in comparison to the tourists while they ran only 33 metres less than Argentina.
South Africa also trumped them at the breakdowns, making nine turnovers to five. The Boks had to defend their line from a relentless Argentina, making 84 tackles, 19 more than their opponents, while missing one less. Bok flanker Oupa Mohoje was the top defender over the weekend making 13 tackles.
Errors were also fewer on the South African side fumbling 11 to 12 while conceding one penalty less than the visitors. While the Boks were slightly better in the lineouts, winning two more balls on their own throw, Argentina had the same advantage in the scrums.
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Power to the Rugby Fans
Match Statistics from the All Out Rugby App powered by Vodacom
South Africa vs Argentina, 20 August, Mbombela Stadium:
Penalty goals: 3-3
Missed penalty goals: 4-1
Possession: 45% – 55%
Territory: 45% – 55%
Yellow cards: 1-1
Clean breaks: 4-8
Defenders beaten: 19-18
Metres run: 371-404
Try assists: 3-2
Turnovers won: 9-5
Tackles made: 84-65
Tackles missed: 18-19
Handling errors: 11-12
Penalties conceded: 9-11
Knock ons: 10-11
Lineouts won on own ball: 8-6
Lineouts stolen: 1-1
Scrums won: 4-6
Scrums lost: 1-2