The SA Schools A side struggled to contend with a physical onslaught from Argentina on the final day of the SA Rugby U18 International Series in Wellington, with the visitors winning 27-12 on Saturday.
The Argentineans scored four tries to two, with three of them in the third quarter all but ending the South Africans’ challenge.
It was still tight at the break, with the visitors leading by 7-5 after an error-ridden first half during which the SA Schools A side were stuck in their own half and had their defence tested.
Their discipline also let them down and the home team failed to convert the few opportunities created, while they were under immense pressure from the Argentineans, whose pace and play at the breakdowns were also very good.
The first half was a ding-dong affair with both sides intent on scoring tries, but due to mistakes they scored only one five-pointer each. It could have been more for the visitors though, wasn’t it for good defence by the SA Schools A side.
The first points came in the 11th minute when the big Los Pumitas No 8 Joaquin Oviedo went over for the first try of the match, which was converted by Mateo Camerlinckx, to see the visitors take a 7-0 lead.
Four minutes later SA Schools A hooker Teague Loelly got the first points for the home team when he was driven over from a lineout maul, but unfortunately Jacques Rossouw failed to add the extras and it was 7-5.
The score was unchanged until the 38th minute, when the Argentineans scored the first of a burst of three quick tries, with Jeronimo Gomez Vera (flanker), who played for Argentina U20 earlier this year, going over. Camerlinckx missed the conversion.
Seven minutes later the Argentinean pressure led to their third try, this with Martin Vaca (replacement hooker) going over. Ramiro Waisberg added the extras to see the visitors lead by 19-5.
And in the 48th minute, with Corné Rahl in the sin bin for SA, Alvaro Llaver (replacement forward) was driven over from a lineout maul, and the Argentineans were in complete control, leading 24-5.
The SA Schools A side got one back when Allister Williams (replacement hooker) scored their second try with 10 minutes to go, but it wasn’t enough and Waisberg sealed the match with a penalty goal after the hooter.
SA Schools A: Tries: Teague Loelly, Allister Williams. Conversion: Jacques Rossouw.
Argentina U18: Tries: Joaquin Oviedo, Jeronimo Gomez Vera, Martin Vaca, Alvaro Llaver. Conversions: Mateo Camerlinckx, Ramiro Waisberg. Penalty: Waisberg.