Two teams brimming with Test players go head to head in Game 4 of the Greatest Super Rugby Team tournament as the Springbok-infused 2007 Bulls take on a shadow Argentina national team posing as the 2019 Jaguares.
The interactive tournament gives readers the opportunity to weigh in on which of Super Rugby’s most prolific contenders was the greatest in the history of the southern-hemisphere competition.
The 1996 Sharks beat the 2001 Brumbies in Game 1, the 2010 Stormers stopped the 2006 Crusaders in Game 2 and the 2014 Waratahs came up short against the 2008 Crusaders in last week’s vote.
Game 4 features the mighty 2007 Bulls against the 2019 Jaguares in Buenos Aires. YOUR VOTE in the POLL below will decide who advances to the next round of the competition.
Heyeneke Meyer’s Bulls finished as champions after a memorable campaign in which they claimed the title in the final minutes of the season.
The Bulls had an arsenal of weapons. Among them, wing Bryan Habana, who scored eight tries in 15 games (including the winner in the final against the Sharks). There was also the boot of flyhalf Derick ‘Liefling’ Hougaard, who slotted 28 conversions, 33 penalties and three drop goals for a haul of 161 points.
A forward pack featuring the ‘Blood Brothers’, Victor Matfield and Bakkies Botha, as well as Springboks in Pierre Spies, Pedrie Wannenburg, Gary Botha, Danie Rossouw and Gurthro Steenkamp, posed an imposing threat to their opponents.
The Bulls secured their place in the 2007 Super Rugby playoffs with a 92-3 win over the Reds, which lifted them into second place on the table. A tightly contested 27-12 victory over the Crusaders followed, before they travelled to Durban to sink the Sharks in the final.
Gonzalo Quesada’s Jaguares took the team’s name to new heights when they qualified for their first-ever final in 2019. Prior to that, the Jaguares had been known as perennial underachievers whose lack of consistency and discipline had them finish in the bottom half of the Super Rugby table.
In 2019, the Jaguares were excellent away from home, winning five of their last six on the road, including wins over the Sharks in Durban and the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld. In fact, with that win in Pretoria the Jaguares did the double over the Bulls, having beaten them in the second round of the season in Argentina.
Having won 11 of 16 matches in 2019 (the same number of wins as the Crusaders), the Jaguares finished second on the overall table and top of the South African conference. After eliminating the Chiefs and Brumbies from the first Super Rugby playoffs in Buenos Aires, they travelled to Christchurch for the final where they went down 19-3 to the Crusaders.
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2019 Jaguares – 15 Emiliano Boffelli, 14 Ramiro Moyano, 13 Matías Orlando, 12 Jerónimo de la Fuente (c), 11 Matías Moroni, 10 Joaquín Díaz Bonilla, 9 Tomás Cubelli, 8 Javier Ortega Desio, 7 Marcos Kremer, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Tomás Lavanini, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Santiago Medrano, 2 Agustín Creevy, 1 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro.
Subs: 16 Julián Montoya, 17 Mayco Vivas, 18 Enrique Pieretto, 19 Juan Manuel Leguizamón, 20 Tomás Lezana, 21 Felipe Ezcurra, 22 Domingo Miotti, 23 Sebastián Cancelliere.
Coach: Gonzalo Quesada
2007 Bulls – 15 Johan Roets, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JP Nel, 12 Wynand Olivier, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Derick Hougaard, 9 Fourie du Preez, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Wikus van Heerden, 6 Pedrie Wannenburg, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 Rayno Gerber, 2 Gary Botha, 1 Gurthro Steenkamp.
Subs: 16 Jaco Engels, 17 Danie Thiart, 18 Danie Rossouw, 19 Derick Kuun, 20 Heini Adams, 21 Morne Steyn, 22 Jaco van der Westhuyzen.
Coach: Heyneke Meyer