Emiliano Boffelli scored two tries as the Jaguares secured a 39-24 bonus-point win over the Vodacom Bulls in Pretoria on Saturday. MARIETTE ADAMS reports.
The Bulls came into this clash as the only winless side remaining in the competition and in desperate need to get their season going. That desperation translated into an attacking intent that had been missing in the Bulls’ ranks so far this season.
Unfortunately, the improvement on that front came at the expense of their defensive shape. The Bulls’ defence were at times non-existent and the Jaguares were all too eager to exploit the gaps their hosts offered up.
The Jaguares produced a good all-round performance of intensity, physicality and first-rate tactical kicking to bring up a third straight win over the Bulls and third victory of the season in the most deserved fashion.
With that the Jaguares have narrowed the gap between themselves and the South African conference leaders. Following the Stormers’ loss in Cape Town and the Jaguares’ triumph in Pretoria, the Argentinian side is now only two log points behind.
There was very little to choose between the two teams during an indifferent first half played in difficult conditions, but a flurry of action on the stroke of half-time ultimately separated the sides and also set the tone for the second half.
There were two tries scored both ways, but the Bulls were in front by four thanks to Morne Steyn slotting both his conversion attempts and Joaquin Diaz Bonilla missing his. However, with three minutes remaining before the break, lock Guido Petti and wing Emiliano Boffelli finished off two of the best team tries of the season to leave the Bulls reeling at 24-14.
The Bulls started well in the second half, as Cornal Hendricks scored almost immediately after the kick-off following a dazzling run by Rosko Specman to get within three on the scoreboard.
But the Jaguares stayed calm under pressure and would go on to outscore their hosts 15 points to three in that final 30 minutes of the match to ensure they come away with maximum log points in the capital.
Vodacom #SuperRugby – RESULT:
The Bulls suffered a blow to their Super Rugby campaign as they went down 24-39 to Jaguares at Loftus Versfeld. pic.twitter.com/FVq22UDD4t
— SuperSport (@SuperSportTV) February 29, 2020
Bulls – Tries: Marco van Staden, Warrick Gelant, Cornal Hendricks. Conversions: Morne Steyn (3). Penalty: Steyn.
Jaguares – Tries: Emiliano Boffelli (2), Rodrigo Bruni, Guido Petti, Matias Moroni, Santiago Socino. Conversions: Joaquin Diaz Bonilla (3). Penalty: Diaz Bonilla.
Bulls – 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Nafi Tuitavake, 12 Johnny Kotze, 11 Rosko Specman, 10 Morne Steyn, 9 Embrose Papier, 8 Jeandre Rudolph, 7 Josh Strauss, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 Juandre Kruger, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Trevor Nyakane (c), 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Lizo Gqoboka.
Subs: 16 Corniel Els, 17 Gerhard Steenkamp, 18 Wiehahn Herbst, 19 Ruan Nortje, 20 Ruan Steenkamp, 21 Ivan van Zyl, 22 Manie Libbok, 23 Divan Rossouw.
Jaguares – 15 Santiago Carreras, 14 Sebastian Cancelliere, 13 Matias Moroni, 12 Jeronimo de la Fuente (c), 11 Emiliano Boffelli, 10 Joaquin Diaz Bonilla, 9 Gonzalo Bertranou, 8 Rodrigo Bruni, 7 Tomas Lezana, 6 Francisco Gorrissen, 5 Marcos Kremer, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Joel Sclavi, 2 Julian Montoya, 1 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro.
Subs: 16 Santiago Socino, 17 Mayco Viyas, 18 Santiago Medrano, 19 Lucas Paulos, 20 Bautista Pedemonte, 21 Domingo Miotti, 22 Juan Cruz Mallia, 23 Santiago Chocobares.
Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images