MENDOZA, Argentina - A last-minute penalty by fly-half Morne Steyn sealed an unimpressive 22-17 win for South Africa over Argentina Saturday in a scrappy Rugby Championship Test.
Steyn slotted two penalties in the closing minutes to keep South Africa top of the table — level on nine points with New Zealand but ahead on points difference.
Desperate to put the huge loss behind them, the Pumas made a fiery start and were ahead within two minutes when flanker Juan Martin Leguizamon dived over in the corner with centre Felipe Contepomi converting.
Argentina were struggling in the early scrums and South African pressure earned a penalty on nine minutes which ace goal-kicker Steyn placed between the posts.
Within two minutes a far more fired-up Pumas side than that of last weekend regained a seven-point advantage as veteran Contepomi kicked a penalty.
But South Africa drew level on 15 minutes as Steyn converted from the touchline a try by left-wing Bjorn Basson in the left corner at the Estadio Malvinas Argentinas.
After brave defending repelled several Springbok attempts to score in the right corner, Argentina failed to clear and the visitors passed along the backline for Basson to sprint over.
South Africa opted to kick for touch a penalty well within the range of Steyn and Argentina drove the green and gold back to leave the visitors questioning their decision.
A Contepomi penalty drifted to the right from in front of the posts, but Argentina were back in front on 37 minutes when centre Marcelo Bosch dived over near the posts.
Patient multi-phase Pumas pressure took them within a few metres of the line and Bosch drove between centre JJ Engelbrecht and prop Jannie du Plessis for a try Contepomi converted.