South Africa Under 20s claimed a morale-boosting victory over their Argentinean hosts in the first of two tests which form a vital part of their preparations for the IRB Junior World Championship 2011 in Italy.
Fresh from a last gasp 8-7 loss to an Argentinean XV in wet conditions last week, South Africa emerged 46-29 winners from a match which kept the 5,000 crowd on the edge of their seats in Santiago del Estero with both sides eager to play an expansive and attacking brand of rugby.
Ten tries were scored at the Lawn Tennis Club with five of South Africa’s six all coming in the second half as they played with more freedom and were rewarded with touch downs from captain Arno Botha (2), Stephen Kotze, Courtnall Skosan and Riaan Britz.
Bradley Moolman had crossed for the South Africa, who have finished third in the three previous editions of the IRB Junior World Championship, in a first half which ended with their Argentinean hosts leading 21-10.
Argentina, who finished sixth in last year’s Championship on home soil, scored tries through captain Brian Ormson, Miguel Urtubey, Matías Orlando and Jerónimo de la Fuente and will be hoping to win the second test on Thursday to share the series.
“We’re happy to achieve our first win on tour, but there’s still a lot of hard work that lies ahead if we intend to achieve our goal of winning both international friendlies on this tour,” said South Africa coach Dawie Theron.
“The result is a good one, but the score difference is not something that we are going to be focusing too much on as we prepare for the second international.
“For us as a team it’s about building as a squad and gaining valuable experience of playing against foreign opposition in our build up to the IRB Junior World Championship in Italy in three months.”