Lambie stars as Springboks exact revenge on Pumas

AFP

Pat Lambie produced a superb fly-half performance as South Africa made amends for their Rugby Championship defeat to Argentina last weekend with a 26-12 win over the Pumas in Buenos Aires.

The Springboks suffered their first defeat to Argentina in Durban seven days ago, but Lambie's impressive display from number 10 ensured there was no repeat as they kicked off their Rugby World Cup preparations with a comfortable win.

Tries from Bryan Habana and Lwazi Mvovo buoyed the Boks, while the reassuring boot of Lambie (16 points) kept the scoreboard ticking over.

Despite Argentina's best efforts they were unable to replicate their recent historic victory, with only kicker Nicolas Sanchez able to get on the scoresheet.

The hosts started well as Juan Imhoff was denied an early try by a superb cover tackle from Eben Etzebeth, but their momentum quickly disappeared as Lambie kicked his first points of the match.

Sanchez levelled but South Africa raised the tempo and quickly restored their lead before half-time, running in two converted tries and another Lambie penalty.

After concerted pressure from the Springboks, the Argentina defence eventually provided an opening - the Pumas unable to keep them at bay as Ruan Pienaar's long pass playing Habana in.

Lambie converted, and minutes later he replicated the feat after Mvovo capped a flowing move from the visitors, the wing pouncing after great hands from Victor Matfield, Schalk Burger and Zane Kirchner in the midfield.

The boot of Sanchez ensured Argentina cut the deficit to 11 points at the break, but South Africa quickly added to their total in the second half as Lambie executed a pinpoint drop goal.

Further pressure from the dominant Springboks pack created chances for Etzebeth and Burger, while Schalk Brits was denied two metres short of the Pumas line.

Both kickers traded blows to advance the scores on, but South Africa's 14-point advantage remained intact as they ended their run of four successive defeats.