Argentina scored a last-minute try to claim a 19-17 victory over the Blitzboks in their fifth-place semi-final in Hong Kong on Sunday. DYLAN JACK reports.
While the Blitzboks flew into a 12-0 lead and seemed to be cruising, their discipline let them down as Argentina came back into the game following Siviwe Soyizwapi’s yellow card.
The Argentinians should be commended for the patience they showed against a dogged Blitzboks defence, with the hammer blow coming 45 seconds from full time when Matias Osadczuk scored the winning try.
The Blitzboks drew first blood when, after winning an early penalty, they released Soyizwapi out wide for their first try. They doubled their lead a minute later when Branco du Preez, who set up the opener, spun out of a poor tackle and sprinted clear to score.
Argentina applied a huge amount of pressure on the Blitzboks’ tryline towards the end of the first half, with a couple of high tackles seeing Soyizwapi sent to the sin bin.
The dam wall eventually burst as Lautaro Bazan Velez went over five minutes after the half-time hooter had sounded to make 12-5 at the break.
The Argentinians got their second soon after the break when they punished the Blitzboks for a breakdown penalty, with Santiago Alvarez scoring a converted try to level the scores.
The Blitzboks then turned to one of their youngsters as Kurt-Lee Arendse handed off a tackle and went on a run for a fine solo try to give them a slim five-point lead.
However, some more ill-discipline from the Blitzboks was punished as Argentina held the ball for a number of phases and their patience was rewarded when Osadczuk sniped over for the knockout blow.