Ar­gentina’s Imhoff


CityPress - - Sport - DAN RETIEF dan.retief@city­

Arugby feat that re­mained un­achieved for 124 years was – al­most un­no­ticed – en­tered into the sport­ing an­nals along with Ar­gentina’s shock 37-25 vic­tory over the Spring­boks at Kings Park in Dur­ban last week­end.

The new mark will be writ­ten along­side the name of Pu­mas left wing Juan Imhoff, who crossed for three tries to register the first hat­trick against South Africa since the start of in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tion in 1891.

More than 30 play­ers have scored two tries against the Boks, but it has taken that long for an in­di­vid­ual to get the triple – aptly un­der­scor­ing a his­toric day for Ar­gen­tinian rugby.

In what was a case of the stu­dent be­com­ing the master, Los Pu­mas were de­serv­ing win­ners for the first time in 20 matches since the two na­tions started play­ing of­fi­cial tests in 1993.

Be­fore read­mis­sion, fol­low­ing the an­ti­a­partheid sports ban, South Africa did not play of­fi­cial tests against Ar­gentina and, through the min­is­tra­tions of Dr Danie Craven, were seen as the god­fa­thers of rugby on the pam­pas.

In the early 1960s, Craven sent the re­spected and in­no­va­tive Izak van Heer­den to Ar­gentina to help with that coun­try’s de­vel­op­ment – and his work re­sulted in such im­prove­ment that rugby of­fi­cials in­sti­gated the next step up the lad­der of in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tion.

In 1965, a tour to South Africa was ar­ranged

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