Centre Jerónimo de la Fuente scored a hat-trick as the Jaguares beat the Lions 49-28 in Friday’s pre-season match at Wits.
In a free-flowing, end-to-end encounter, the Argentinians turned on the style to score seven tries against a second-string Lions side who struggled get into gear with far too many unforced errors.
The visitors made a storming start to the game when wing Santiago Cordero scored a well-worked try as early as the fourth minute, but the Lions hit back when loosehead prop Corné Fourie powered over from close range after sustained pressure by the hosts.
Super Rugby’s newest members were at it again soon after with some creative play by their backline. Wing Eliliano Boffelli’s converted try put the hosts ahead again and a double by De la Fuente made sure the Jaguares keep their nose ahead, leading 28-7 at the break.
Soon after the restart, the Jaguares added to their score after the Lions fell off a number of tackles to let replacement Gonzalo Bertranou dot down. Minutes later, Facundo Isa ran through the heart of the Lions defence before releasing De la Fuente for his hat-trick score under the posts.
The Lions did well to respond through centre Harold Vorster, but that was followed by a nasty bust-up, which led to three yellow cards, reducing the Jaguares to 13 men and the Lions to 14.
There was to be a late flourish by the hosts with a double strike through Ruaan Lerm and Lourens Erasmus right at the end, but those only came after conceding a penalty try to the dominating Jaguares.
Lions – Tries: Corné Fourie, Harold Vorster, Ruaan Lerm, Lourens Erasmus. Conversions: Marnitz Boshoff (2), Jaco van der Walt.
Jaguares – Tries: Santiago Cordero, Eliliano Boffelli, Jerónimo de la Fuente (3), Gonzalo Bertranou, penalty try. Conversions: Nicolás Sánchez (7).
Lions – 15 John-Wessel Bell, 14 Koch Marx, 13 Stokkies Hanekom, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Anthony Volmink, 10 Marnitz Boshoff, 9 Dillon Smit, 8 Ruan Ackermann, 7 Cyle Brink, 6 Stephan de Witt, 5 MB Lusaseni, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Pieter Scholtz, 2 Armand van der Merwe, 1 Corné Fourie.
Subs: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Dylan Smith, 18 Jacques van Rooyen, 19 Lourens Erasmus, 20 Bobby de Wee, 21 Martin Muller, 22 Ramone Samuels, 23 Fabian Booysen, 24 Ruaan Lerm, 25 Jaco van der Walt, 26 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 27 Jacques Nel, 28 Ashlon Davids, 29 Marco Jansen van Vuren, 30 Ricky Schroeder, 31 Selom Gavor.
Jaguares – 15 Joaquín Tuculet, 14 Emiliano Boffelli, 13 Matías Moroni, 12 Jerónimo de la Fuente, 11 Santiago Cordero, 10 Nicolás Sánchez, 9 Martín Landajo, 8 Leonardo Senatore, 7 Javier Ortega Desio, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Tomas Lavanini, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Ramiro Herrera, 2 Agustín Creevy (c), 1 Lucas Noguera Paz.
Subs: Santiago García Botta, Julian Montoya, Felipe Arregui, Felipe Ezcurra, Santiago González Iglesias, Rodrigo Baez, Gonzalo Bertranou, Joaquín Paz, Matías Orlando, Facundo Isa, Matías Alemanno, Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro.
Photo: Steve Haag/Gallo Images