The Standard Bank Pampas from Argentina secured their first victory of the 2013 Vodacom Cup by beating the SWD Eagles 22-17 (halftime 17-7) at Outeniqua Park in George on Friday.
The Pampas outscored the hosts by three tries to two, and had to battle for their victory as a spirited Eagles sides pushed them all the way.
The visitors opened the scoring in the 10th minute as flyhalf Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias knocked over a penalty to make it 3-0. The Eagles stepped up and looked positive as they put pressure on the visitors.
The pressure paid off as a pass was intercepted by Alshaun Bock, who raced for the line to score the first try of the match. Fullback Elric van Vuuren converted to give the hosts a 7-3 lead in the 20th minute.
The lead was short lived though as the Pampas made headway into the Eagles' half. After numerous set scrums on the hosts' tryline, the referee, Marius van der Westhuizen, awarded the visitors a penalty try, which was converted by Iglesias in the 28th minute.
Five minutes later the Pampas extended their lead through a try by scrumhalf Tomas Cubelli, who picked up from the base of a scrum and forced his way over. Iglesias converted to give the men from Argentina a 17-7 lead at halftime.
The Pampas had their defence to thank for the 10-point lead as the Eagles poked and prodded, but were unable to find a way through.
Eight minutes into the second half, the Eagles were right back in the match after No 8 Lyndon Hartnick picked up from the base of a scrum, five metres from the line, and rumbled over. Van Vuuren converted the try to bring the hosts to within three points of the visitors.
Three minutes later, the scores were level as Van Vuuren slotted his only penalty of the night, but the joy of the very small home crowd was extremely short-lived as Pampas left-wing Manuel Montero went over in the corner for a very easy try. The conversion from Iglesias was unsuccessful, but the Pampas held on for the final 20 minutes for their victory.
SWD Eagles - Tries: Alshaun Bock, Lyndon Hartnick; Conversions: Elric van Vuuren (2); Penalties: Van Vuuren
Pampas - Tries: Penalty Try, Tomas Cubelli, Manuel Montero; Conversions: Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias (2); Penalty: Iglesias