Argentina 16 South Africa 16: Boks fight back to hold Pumas in thriller
23:45 GMT, 25 August 2012
South Africa maintained their unbeaten record against Argentina after a thrilling draw at the Estadio Malvinas Argentinas in Mendoza.
Morne Steyn kicked three penalties while namesake Francois converted his own try to drag the Springboks level after they found themselves 16-6 down midway through the second half.
Argentina dominated the first period and entered the break 13-3 ahead thanks to a Santiago Fernandez try and the boot of Martin Rodriguez, who converted two penalties and a conversion.
Clash of the titans: Sprinboks lock Eben Etzebeth is tackled by by two Pumas
Rodriguez added another three points in the second period but Francois Steyn ensured a share of the spoils.
Argentina have not beaten South Africa in any of their 14 previous Tests, with their most recent reverse coming in last week's opening Rugby Championship match at Newlands.
The Boks made two changes from that side as Adriaan Strauss replaced the injured Bismarck du Plessis at hooker while Jacques Potgieter was promoted from the bench to start at blindside flanker, with Keegan Daniel making way.
The home side brought in Nicolas Sanchez at No 10 with Juan Martin Hernandez injured, while Rodriguez came in for Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino.
Close encounter: Argentina's Los Pumas fullback Martin Rodriguez is tackled by Francois Hougaard
South Africa could have taken the lead after three minutes when the visitors were penalised for being off their feet at a ruck, but Francois Steyn missed from 47 yards.
The away side were first on the board as Rodriguez converted a penalty after Jannie du Plessis was penalised for an infringement at a maul.
And Argentina extended their lead after 17 minutes when Juan Figallo passed to Santiago Fernandez, who touched down underneath the posts with the extras added by Rodriguez.
Rodriguez could have put his side 13 points ahead after Bryan Habana was pulled up for handling while on the ground, but the full-back could not convert.
Fightback: Argentina had led 13-3 at the break
The visitors finally got on the scoreboard seven minutes before the break after the Pumas were again penalised at the ruck, with Morne Steyn making no mistake.
However Rodriguez ensured his side went into the break 10 points clear, converting a penalty after 36 minutes.
Out-muscled and outplayed in the first 40 minutes, South Africa needed to strike first and were thankful that nine minutes after the restart Morne Steyn took advantage of Rodrigo Roncero's infringement at the ruck to bring the score back to 13-6.
However indiscipline again from South Africa, this time from replacement Flip van der Merwe, gave Rodriguez the opportunity to add to the Pumas' tally and the 27-year-old made no mistake.
Unbeaten: South Africa head home with a strong chance of challenging
Morne Steyn kept his side in the match as once again the teams exchanged three-pointers.
South Africa turned the screw and with 15 minutes left scored their first try of the match.
Francois Steyn charged down a Marcelo Bosch clearance and touched down, with his conversion levelling the scores.
They could have won it but Morne Steyn missed a penalty with six minutes left as the Springboks left with their unbeaten record intact.