Result: South Africa finish third at Rugby World Cup

Eben Etzebeth and JP Pietersen score tries to lead South Africa to a 24-13 win over Argentina in the third-place playoff at the Rugby World Cup.

South Africa have secured a third-place finish at the 2015 Rugby World Cup as tries from JP Pietersen and Eben Etzebeth helped the Springboks to a 24-13 win at the Olympic Stadium.

Victor Matfield of South Africa wins the line out ball during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Bronze Final match between South Africa and Argentina at the Olympic Stadium on October 30, 2015© Getty Images

Argentina were dealt an early blow when Tomas Cubelli was sent to the sin bin just five minutes into the match, having been judged to have deliberately slowed the ball.

It took the Springboks just a few moments to make their extra man count, with Pietersen spotting an opening out wide to race down the wing and ground the ball in the corner.

Bryan Habana had a couple of opportunities to become the outright leading try-scorer in Rugby World Cup history, but the winger could not get the grounding right while trying to leap over, before being tackled short later in the half.

Cubelli tried to create something to get the Pumas back into the match as he returned from his spell off the pitch, but the two-time world champions quickly won the ball back, while Handre Pollard kicked three penalties before the interval to give South Africa a commanding lead heading into the break.

Argentina finally got off the mark at the start of the second half as Nicolas Sanchez slotted the ball over with a drop goal attempt from 40m out.

South Africa soon punished their opponents down the other end though as Habana continued to look for the record-breaking try, but realised Etzebeth was in a better position, setting him up to power over for the second try of the night.

Eben Etzebeth of South Africa clashes with Tomas Lavanini and Nicolas Sanchez of Argentina during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Bronze Final match between South Africa and Argentina at the Olympic Stadium on October 30, 2015© Getty Images

Pollard could not add the conversion, but split the uprights a few minutes later after Argentina were penalised for too many offsides.

Sanchez kicked again to reduce the gap to 18 points with 30 minutes remaining, but South Africa seemed happy to let their opponents have the ball while continuing to hold such a big lead.

The Pumas looked weary as full time approached, but their second-half efforts were rewarded with a late try as Juan Pablo Orlandi managed to stretch the ball over from a metre out for a consolation.

Argentina's Marcelo Bosch in action against New Zealand on September 28, 2013
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