Championship - South Africa score nine tries in Argentina rout

A nine try romp ensured for South Africa an easier than expected start to the Rugby Championship as they overwhelmed Argentina 73-13 at Soccer City on Saturday.

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Championship - South Africa score nine tries in Argentina rout
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South Africa, Argentina - Four Nations (Reuters)

The Springboks had lost on both occasions in their only two matches in the 95,000-seater stadium in Soweto, Johannesburg, but there was never any danger of them suffering a defeat against the South Americans as they ran riot in the second half.

A penalty try and JJ Engelbrecht's effort, plus 16 points from Morne Steyn, put the hosts 26-6 in front at half-time, before Adriaan Strauss, Willem Alberts, Jean de Villiers, Fourie du Preez, Bryan Habana, Duane Vermeulen and Bismarck du Plessis all crossed after the interval, with Steyn adding another six conversions

Felipe Contepomi scored all of Argentina's points by converting his own try and adding two penalties, but it mattered little as South Africa cruised to a win.

The hosts dominated possession from the off and were 6-0 ahead inside the opening 10 minutes thanks to two penalties from Steyn before he added a third to restore their six-point lead after Contepomi had halved the deficit with his own kick.

Contepomi once again reduced the deficit to three points after Strauss was penalised for hands in the ruck, but that was as good as it got for the Pumas, who conceded a penalty try in the 29th minute for an intentional knock-down, with Eusebio Guinazu shown a yellow card.

Steyn added the extras and it was the talismanic fly-half who broke from deep inside his own half three minutes later after the ball had been turned over to tee up Engelbrecht for an easy try.

Steyn once more slotted the conversion and added a penalty just before the interval to give the Boks a commanding 20-point lead.

It got even better for the hosts, who won a line-out before Strauss drove over the try line four minutes after the re-start, with Leonardo Senatore becoming the second Argentinian to receive a yellow card after tip-tackling Engelbrecht soon after.

South Africa showed their dominance at the line-out as Alberts drove over the line in the 51st minute, with Steyn missing his only conversion, and they had their fifth try soon after as De Villiers intercepted a pass before cutting through several defenders to cross the whitewash.

Substitute Du Preez crossed just after the hour mark following good work from De Villiers, and Habana registered his side's seventh try of the evening after 65 minutes.

Vermeulen and Du Plessis also crossed to seal a memorable victory for the Springboks, although they were denied their highest ever victory over Argentina when Contepomi scored a consolation try at the death.

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