A last minute try by German Klubus earned Argentina Under 20s a hard-fought 23-23 draw with a South African Under 20 selection in the second match of their tour of the country that will host the IRB Junior World Championship in June.
The South Africans, fielding a large number of Under 19 players, had led 23-13 until seven minutes from time when the Pumitas began their comeback, Santiago Garcia Botta touching down before Klubus at the Markotter Stadium in Stellenbosch.
Argentina coach Bernardo Urdaneta was satisfied with the improvements from the 51-19 defeat to South Africa Under 20s on Saturday when ill-discipline saw players sin-binned and red carded.
“We have improved from last week, especially from a disciplinary point of view. We showed that we can play with the ball in hand and that we can compete at this level, not we have to work on our kicking,” said Urdaneta.
“We will make many changes for the last game (on Saturday at Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch). We want to try all of our options to be able to select the best team for the tournament.”
One eye on the future
Argentina opened the scoring shortly after kick-off with captain Sebastian Poet’s penalty, but some impressive tackling and a fast, open match gave Cobus Nel the opportunity to edge South Africa ahead with a 15th minute try.
Flanker Shaun Adendorf’s try and a Dillon Leyds penalty ensured the South Africans went in leading 15-10 at half time with scrum half Felipe Ezcura scoring a try for the Pumitas as the host’s tactic of playing a fast paced game reaped rewards.
South Africa continued where they left off in the second half with Stephan Coetzee touching down for his side’s third try with Argentina again seeing a man sin-binned – this time Gaspar Oberti – for repeated infringements.
Despite the Pumitas denying South Africa back-to-back victories, there was still many positives for Baby Boks coach Dawie Theron to take from the match, including the performance of the Under 19 players.
“We had 12 new players who only joined the squad this week, so a draw is a good result. I would have like to see more structure however, we gave balls away to easily and I believe we could have won with just a bit more structure.
“We have a lot of talent and by giving them experience they will be ready to join the Under 20 team next year, and what better way to test them than against a first team that competes at JWC level.”