A 124-year record

CityPress - - Sport -

in which the Pu­mas took on pro­vin­cial in­vi­ta­tion sides with the test match be­ing against the Ju­nior Spring­boks at El­lis Park.

The gau­chos learnt quickly though, and shocked what was ef­fec­tively South Africa’s B side by win­ning the fi­nal of the tour 11-6 – a match in which fu­ture lead­ing com­men­ta­tor Hugh Bladen played fly half for the Ju­nior Boks.

The sur­viv­ing mem­bers of the 1965 side were present at the late Van Heer­den’s old home ground of Kings Park last week­end to wit­ness a vic­tory Ar­gen­tinian rugby fol­low­ers have dreamt of for years.

Imhoff wrote his name into the history books with his hat-trick and, fit­tingly, his fa­ther, José Luis Imhoff, who was a mem­ber of the ’65 tour­ing side but did not play in the test, was there to wit­ness the great deed.

Touch­ingly, the two gen­er­a­tions – old men in the stands and young boys on the field – saluted each other af­ter­wards by singing the Pu­mas’ song, which, thanks to an ex­pla­na­tion pro­vided by a fel­low rugby writer in Buenos Aires, is typ­i­cally bawdy, as rugby dit­ties are, and bet­ter left in Span­ish!

No telling of Ar­gentina’s rugby history would be com­plete with­out record­ing that they have once be­fore beat the Spring­boks – but not as the Pu­mas.

In 1982, a team play­ing in the guise of South Amer­ica or the Jaguars (Ar­gentina in all but name), beat the Boks 21-12 in Bloem­fontein af­ter hav­ing lost 50-18 in Pre­to­ria the week be­fore.

The great fly half Hugo Porta, who later had a stint as Ar­gentina’s con­sul to South Africa, scored all the points.

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