The Jaguares claimed a historic 21-16 win over the Chiefs to advance to the Vodacom Super Rugby semi-finals for the first time ever. MARIETTE ADAMS reports.
The Jaguares were eventually the victors in an enthralling encounter to confirm their continued participation in the title race as they will now not only compete in a first-ever semi-final, but also host the game in Buenos Aires next week.
As for the Chiefs, they certainly made a contest of it, but in the end were made to rue some debatable on-field decisions. This included turning down two kickable penalties in the last five minutes and instead opting for the lineout that in the end didn’t yield the desired outcomes.
The visitors had the upper hand in the scrums. The Jaguares, though, bullied them at the breakdown, disrupted their lineout ball and stifled their attack with suffocating defence. At one stage, the Jaguares repelled a 15-phase attack on their own tryline courtesy of their unwavering defence.
There were several standout performers on both sides, but none more so than Joaquin Diaz Bonilla. Apart from his 11-point haul, the Jaguares flyhalf produced an all-round masterclass in game management to steer his team to victory.
A spade of handling errors by the Chiefs in the opening stages led to thundering forward Pablo Matera scoring the first try of the match after the Jaguares pounced on a loose ball inside the 22. Diaz Bonilla missed the conversion but added a penalty. The Chiefs shrugged off the early jitters and worked their way into a position of strength to take a 10-8 lead into the break.
The visitors pushed further ahead with two penalties in the second half, but were somewhat disrupted by the loss of flyhalf Jack Debreczeni to injury. The Jaguares upped the tempo and eventually opened up the Chiefs’ line in the 52nd minute, allowing wing Matias Moroni to roam free for a try.
Still ahead by one, the Chiefs contributed to their own downfall with ill-discipline and an inability to secure their own lineout. With the penalty count mounting against the Chiefs, Diaz Bonilla lined up two successful shots at goal to kick the Jaguares into an ultimately unassailable lead and into the semi-finals.
— Super Rugby (@SuperRugbyNZ) June 22, 2019
Jaguares – Tries: Pablo Matera, Matias Moroni. Conversion: Joaquin Diaz Bonilla. Penalties: Dian Bonilla (3).
Chiefs – Try: Lachlan Boshier. Conversion: Jack Debreczeni. Penalties: Debreczeni (2), Marty McKenzie.
Jaguares – 15 Emiliano Boffelli, 14 Sebastián Cancelliere, 13 Matias Orlando, 12 Jeronimo de la Fuente (c), 11 Matias Moroni, 10 Joaquin Diaz Bonilla, 9 Tomas Cubelli, 8 Javier Ortega Desio, 7 Marcos Kremer, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Tomas Lavanini, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Santiago Medrano, 2 Agustin Creevy, 1 Mayco Vivas.
Subs: 16 Julian Montoya, 17 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 18 Enrique Pieretto, 19 Tomas Lezana, 20 Francisco Gorrissen, 21 Felipe Ezcurra, 21 Domingo Miotti, 22 Santiago Carreras.
Chiefs – 15 Solomon Alaimalo, 14 Shaun Stevenson, 13 Tumua Manu, 12 Anton Lienert-Brown, 11 Sean Wainui, 10 Jack Debreczeni, 9 Brad Weber, 8 Pita Gus Sowakula, 7 Sam Cane (c), 6 Lachlan Boshier, 5 Tyler Ardron, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Angus Ta’avao, 2 Nathan Harris, 1 Atu Moli.
Subs: 16 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 17 Aidan Ross, 18 Nepo Laulala, 19 Jesse Parete, 20 Mitchell Jacobson, 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22 Marty McKenzie, 23 Alex Nankivell.
Photo: Getty Images