BUENOS AIRES – South Africa hooker Malcolm Marx scored a try in the final minute to secure a 36-20 bonus-point victory over Argentina at Estadio Libertadores de America in Buenos Aires on Saturday and keep the Springboks in the Rugby Championship title hunt.

The win lifts the Springboks to 14 points in the table, level with New Zealand. They host Argentina in their final clash in Durban next weekend while the All Blacks are at home to Australia.

The visitors’ scores came via a penalty try, one each for scrumhalf Jaden Hendrikse and centre Damian de Alende, and two for Marx.

South Africa dominated the first half with their power-game and led 22-6 at the break, but they were given a scare in the second period, when Argentina roared back in the final 15 minutes and took the score to 22-20 before the Boks pulled away once more.

The home side were also awarded a penalty try to go with a score for centre Matias Moroni.

“To come here is very hard. Argentines are very passionate people and they take pride in their rugby. For us to get a bonus point was special,” Bok captain Siya Kolisi said at the post-match presentation.

“Argentina played really well, it was a great battle. It has been tough for us and we had to pull together as a group.”

It was a classic example of a game of two halves, and South Africa should really have been further ahead on the scoreboard at the break.

Every time they used their muscular forwards they made yards and forced Argentina into conceding penalties, but when they ran the ball along the backline, they made unforced errors that released the pressure.

The Boks were awarded a penalty try midway through the half when Argentine flyhalf Santiago Carreras failed to get back onside having made a tackle on Canan Moodie and prevented Hendrikse from dotting down in the corner.

The scrumhalf did cross for a score when he spotted a massive gap in the home defence following more incessant pressure, and Marx then got his first from a trademark driving maul as the Boks simply had too much power for their hosts.

Argentina came out for the second half with more fire in their belly and although it took them 25 minutes to put points on the board, they had the Boks scrambling in defence and were for a while the dominant team.

Last modified: September 18, 2022