Jantjies drop goal seals thrilling win against the Pumas

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The Barbarians lifted the Killik Cup in dramatic fashion thanks to a last minute Elton Jantjies drop-goal as they defeated Argentina 38-35 at Twickenham, writes Stewart McCullough.

Jantjies, a Springbok international, steered the decisive points home from 30 metres out to spark scenes of jubilation.

It completed a memorable turnaround for the Baabaas. They trailed 28-7 at one stage but scored tries through Juan Manuel Leguizamon, Damian de Allende and Lood de Jager. 

Two more scores came from 15-man lineout drives — one finishing in a penalty try and the second with Siya Kolisi touching down.

Barbarians head coach Rassie Erasmus, who blooded a side containing eight different nationalities led by World Cup-winning All Black Wyatt Crockett, had his team playing an expansive brand of rugby throughout the contest despite the slippery conditions.

The Baa-baas got off to a flying start, former London Irish man Leguizamon finishing off an emphatic move to score against his countrymen. 

Lood de Jager

Lood de Jager charges for the line to tie up the scores

Leguizamon, who has 85 Pumas caps to his name, fended off Sebastian Cancelliere on his way to the corner. Handre Pollard added the extras to give his side the early initiative at 7-0.

However, the visitors hit back with four tries in 15 minutes with centre Matias Orlando getting the first of them. Orlando gathered Cancelliere’s pass on the overlap to squeeze in at the corner, with Bonilla’s touchline conversion levelling the score.

Argentina went ahead six minutes later when Bonilla’s clever kick in behind the Baa-baas defensive line was collected by winger Ramiro Moyano, who slid over in the corner. Bonilla made it two from two with the boot to make it 14-7.

They extended their advantage moments later, Orlando again in the thick of the action to set up skipper Pablo Matera for a close range finish.

Dyantyi

Aphiwe Dyantyi was a constant threat on the wing

Argentina registered their fourth try of the afternoon courtesy of Cancelliere, who beat a series of defenders to pounce on Moyano’s kick through for a beautiful score. Bonilla’s radar boot increased the margin to 28-7.    

The Baa-baas reduced the arrears in unorthodox fashion as they were awarded a penalty try after wheeling a driving lineout over the line. Mantera was ruled to have collapsed the maul, with the Barbarians trailing 28-14 at the break.  

They came out for the second period in positive mood, with flanker Kolisi pushing his way over the line from close in on the back of another devastating lineout move. Pollard’s conversion closed the gap to 28-21.

Jesse Kriel

Jesse Kriel keeps his eye on the ball at Twickenham

Argentina’s Julian Montoya and Barbarians’ de Allende traded a try apiece in the space of four minutes with the score poised at 35-28 to the Pumas.

But the Barbarians came roaring back a dramatic try five minutes from time through second-row de Lager. Jesse Kriel and Frank Lomani were the architects, Fiji scrum half Lomani feeding de Lager and the Baa-baas were on level terms at 35-35 following Jantjies’ conversion.  

The Springboks' fly-half had the majority of the Twickenham crowd on their feet a minute from time as he kicked the decisive points of the contest with a 30 metre drop-goal to earn the Barbarians a famous victory.      

Barbarians: J Debreczeni (E Jantjies, 50); T Benvenuti, T English (Jesse Kriel, 40), D de Allende, A Dyantyi; H Pollard, L Fukofuka; W Crockett (captain, S Kitshoff, 45), S Brits (M Marx, 47), T Nyakane (A Peikrishvili, 48), L Jones (S Notshe, 48), L de Jager, S Kolisi, P du Toit (Luke Jones, 64), J Leguizamon (S Notshe, 32).

Argentina: J Mallia, S Cancelliere, M Orlando, B Ezcurra, R Moyano, J Bonilla, M Landajo, J Zeiss, J Montoya, S Medrano, G Petti, M Alemanno, P Matera (c), T Lezana, R Bruni. 

Replacements: A Creevy, M Vivas, L Sordoni, T Lavanini, S Grondona, T Cubelli, J de la Fuente, S Carreras.

Scorers: Barbarians: Tries: Leguizamon, Penalty Try, Kolisi, de Allende, Lood de Lager. Cons: Pollard 3, Jantjies. Drop-goal: Jantjies (79)
Argentina: Tries: Orlando, Moyano, Matera, Cancelliere, Montoya. Cons: Joaquin Diaz Bonilla 5. 

Referee: John Lacey (Ire). Attendance: 31,018