Sbu Nkosi scores two tries as Springboks narrowly edge Argentina

South Africa wing Sbu Nkosi (C) leaps with the ball before scoring a try during the 2019 Rugby Union World Cup warm-up test match between South Africa against Argentina at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria, on August 17, 2019.
South Africa wing Sbu Nkosi (C) leaps with the ball before scoring a try during the 2019 Rugby Union World Cup warm-up test match between South Africa against Argentina at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria, on August 17, 2019.
Image: MARCO LONGARI / AFP

Winger Sbu Nkosi underlined his Rugby World Cup credentials with a sparkling brace of tries as the Springboks registered a narrow and nervy 24-18 win over Argentina at Loftus on Saturday.

Nkosi, who has been one of the consistent performers of the Rassie Erasmus era, scored a try in each half as the Boks ensured that they will travel to Japan on the back of three wins and one draw after four matches.

South Africa, who won the shortened Rugby Championship with two wins and one draw, added another morale boosting victory over the Pumas even though it lacked conviction largely due to the fact that Erasmus made wholesale changes for the match.

Despite the result, Erasmus will also be satisfied that captain Siya Kolisi made a successful return from a long injury lay-off as he completed 52 minutes before he was replaced by Marco van Staden.

Springboks captain Siya Kolisi will be happy with the minutes he spent on the pitch.
Springboks captain Siya Kolisi will be happy with the minutes he spent on the pitch.
Image: Gordon Arons/Gallo Images

Kolisi, who missed the Rugby Championship as he recovered from a knee injury he suffered during Super Rugby for the Stormers in May, looked solid as he tackled well and carried the ball without discomfort during his time on the field.

There was also a special moment for Scarra Ntubeni who was introduced in the last ten minutes for his long awaited Bok debut when he replaced captain for the day Schalk Brits.

Next week, the Boks have a camp in Bloemfontein and Erasmus will announce the squad on August 26 before they fly out to Japan where they will play one warm up match against the hosts on 6 September.

They start the tournament with a blockbuster clash against old foes New Zealand on 21 September in Yokohama.

South Africa wing Sbu Nkosi celebrates with teammates after scoring the first try of the match.
South Africa wing Sbu Nkosi celebrates with teammates after scoring the first try of the match.
Image: Christiaan Kotze/BackpagePix

The game went off to a slow start with no notable moments during the early exchanges before Elton Jantjies got the scoreboard ticking with a penalty in the 20th minute.

Argentina drew level minutes later in similar manner when Joaquín Díaz Bonilla converted his own penalty.

The biggest cheer of the match arrived on the half hour mark when Nkosi worked his magic on the right wing for the first try of the afternoon after he received a pass from Warrick Gelant.

The Pumas scored their first try of the match after the half time hooter had sounded through Guido Petti after he intercepted a misplaced pass from Cobus Reinach as the visitors took a two point lead to the break.

South Africa regained the lead seven minutes after restart when Nkosi beat four desperate Argentinean defenders before he touched down.

The Pumas drew level with fifteen minutes remaining on the clock when their skipper Pablo Matera scored their second try but South Africa maintained their lead with two late penalties from Jantjies.

Scorers

Springboks

Tries: Sbu Nkosi (2)

Conversions: Elton Jantjies (1)

Penalties: Elton Jantjies (4)

Argentina

Tries: Guido Petti, Pablo Matera

Conversions: Joaquín Díaz (1)

Penalties: Joaquín Díaz (1), Benjamin Urdapilleta (1)

- TimesLIVE

 

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