The Jaguares scored three tries to inflict a 25-20 defeat on the Brumbies in Canberra on Sunday. MARIETTE ADAMS reports.
Like they did in 2017, the Jaguares will leave Australia with a 100% success rate from their two-game tour having beaten the Rebels 25-22 last week and then upsetting the Brumbies. In the process, they also became the only Super Rugby team to win their first-ever game in Canberra.
The result lifts the Jaguares to fourth in the South African conference, above the struggling Stormers. The Brumbies’ defeat means all four Australian sides lost in round 10.
The Jaguares were all fire in the opening 30 minutes of this clash, outsmarting the Brumbies in every facet. Their work at the lineouts and breakdowns were crucial to their early dominance. A sustained 18-phase attack led to a try for outside centre Matias Orlando, who came in on an angled run to take a pop pass from Nicolás Sánchez, who on his part flummoxed the defence by shaping to go wide but going back inside instead.
Sánchez was on song with his tactical- and place-kicking. The flyhalf found grass with all his kicks deep into the Brumbies’ half and he slotted two penalties to extend the Jaguares’ lead to 13 points.
Throughout that period when the Jaguares accumulated their points, the Brumbies were deprived of possession and had to live off scraps. But those roles were reversed as the momentum swung dramatically in the hosts’ favour in the final 10 minutes of the half.
When the Jaguares were penalised for streaking offside, the Brumbies set a lineout 5m from the tryline, but failed to score because they couldn’t get the drive on. Fortunately, they were playing under an advantage and set a lineout again but on the second throw-in, the Jaguares poached the ball and cleared from inside the in-goal area.
It was third time lucky for the Brumbies, though. From another lineout, they bashed it up through the forwards, which created an overlap out wide where Tom Banks received the ball to score. The fullback doubled the Brumbies’ tally with his second try after Henry Speight – standing at first receiver – got them over the advantage line before Wharenui Hawera threaded through a grubber which sat up for Banks.
With the Brumbies controlling possession and bossing territory in the second stanza, the intensity on the ball and the action fizzled out.
Unable to unlock the Jaguares defence, the Brumbies were given an opportunity to take the ascendancy when the Jaguares’ star wing Emiliano Boffelli was handed a yellow card for taking Speight out in the air. But the act had the exact opposite effect the Brumbies would have hoped for. Despite the numerical disadvantage, the Jaguares not only managed to successfully defend their line, they proceeded to score a length-of-the-field try from turnover possession right on their own tryline.
The Brumbies, yet again, looked to be on the comeback trail when Chance Peni’s converted try got them within two with 14 minutes remaining. But Boffelli effectively ended the game as a contest when he streaked over for the defining try after an excellent sequence of interplay between backs and forwards.
With the clock winding down, the Brumbies had to score twice for an unlikely victory but they failed to do so. They did control possession well into stoppage time and forced the Jaguares into conceding a penalty, which Hawera knocked over to secure a losing bonus point for the hosts.
Brumbies – Tries: Tom Banks (2), Chance Peni. Conversion: Wharenui Hawera. Penalty: Hawera.
Jaguares – Tries: Matías Orlando, Jerónimo de le Fuente, Emiliano Boffelli. Conversions: Nicolás Sánchez (2). Penalties: Sánchez (2).
Brumbies – 15 Tom Banks, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 Chance Peni, 10 Wharenui Hawera, 9 Joe Powell, 8 Isi Naisarani, 7 David Pocock, 6 Tom Cusack, 5 Sam Carter (c), 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Folau Fainga’a, 1 Scott Sio.
Subs: 16 Robbie Abel, 17 Nick Mayhew, 18 Mees Erasmus, 19 Darcy Swain, 20 Michael Oakman-Hunt, 21 Matt Lucas, 22 Jordan Jackson-Hope, 23 Andrew Smith.
Jaguares – 15 Joaquín Tuculet, 14 Ramiro Moyano, 13 Matías Orlando, 12 Jerónimo de le Fuente, 11 Emiliano Boffelli, 10 Nicolás Sánchez, 9 Gonzalo Bertranou, 8 Javier Ortega Deseo, 7 Marcos Kremer, 6 Pablo Matera (c), 5 Tomás Lavanini, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 2 Agustín Creevy, 1 Santiago García Botta.
Subs: Julián Montoya, 17 Javier Díaz, 18 Juan Pablo Zeiss, 19 Matías Alemanno, 20 Leonardo Senatore, 21 Martín Landajo, 22 Bautista Ezcurra, 23 Bautista Delguy.