South Africa Under 20 fly half Johan Goosen kicked five penalties and a conversion to help his side to a 22-13 victory over their Argentinean hosts in Santiago del Estero on Thursday.
With both sides stepping up their preparations for the IRB Junior World Championship in Italy this summer, South Africa return home with two wins against Argentina and a narrow loss to an Argentina XV.
The Baby Boks, who beat Argentina 46-29 in the first international encounter, scored all of their points in the first half with wing Courtnall Skosan’s try adding to Goosen’s 17-point haul and establishing a 22-6 advantage.
Heavy rain after the break meant both sides struggled to gain any momentum with South Africa reduced to 13 players at one stage with Bradley Moolman and Carl Wegner sent to the sin-bin for deliberate infringements.
Los Pumitas capitalised on their advantage to score a try through number 8 Martin Ignes, but were unable to overhaul their visitors and slipped to a second successive loss at the hands of the Baby Boks.
Plenty of work lies ahead
“I am happy with the progress that we have made as a team during this two-week tour, especially due to the fact that we have achieved one of our tour objectives which were to win both internationals,” admitted South Africa coach Dawie Theron.
“For us, it’s going to be about ticking as many boxes as possible before the IRB Junior World Championship kicks off in June in Italy. We’ve ticked this box, but there’s still plenty of work that lies ahead.
“Our intentions were to afford these players an opportunity of competing against overseas opposition, and to gauge how they adapt to foreign conditions.
“It is going to be important for the players to continue gaining game time from now until our next training camp. Some the guys will go straight back into the FNB Varsity Cup competition, while many of the other players will slot in with their provincial unions’ Vodacom Cup teams.”
The IRB Junior World Championship 2011 takes place in the Veneto region of Italy from 10-26 June with the top 12 nations in action across five double-header match days in Treviso, Rovigo and Padova.
South Africa, who have finished third at the three previous tournaments, will face 2008 and 2009 runners up England, Ireland and Scotland in Pool C, while Argentina tackle three-time defending champions New Zealand, Wales and hosts Italy in Pool A. The other pool features 2010 runners up Australia, France, Fiji and Tonga.