Captain Agustín Creevy bagged a brace as the Jaguares scored a thrilling 46-39 win against the Sunwolves in Buenos Aires on Saturday. MARIETTE ADAMS reports.
At times it wasn’t pretty, but both teams contributed to produce a 12-try epic. In the end, the hosts did just enough to overcome the plucky Sunwolves, who were left distraught at the end of it all after leading for the majority of the 80 minutes.
Yu Tamura scored 24 points for the visitors via two tries, four conversions and two penalties, while his teammate Willie Britz also cut an imposing figure. The South African set up two tries and made a couple of try-saving tackles on his own line. Unfortunately for the Sunwolves, who had contained the Jaguares’ strike-runners so well in the opening stanza, the hosts’ substitutes came on and ran the Japan side ragged.
The Sunwolves led 25-23 at half-time with only a Tamura penalty separating the sides. The visitors enjoyed a superb start as tries by centre Will Tupou and wing Shota Emi, coupled with a penalty, put them 15-10 up.
The Jaguares had been left frustrated by the Sunwolves’ dogged defence until that point, but the hosts managed to draw level after Emiliano Boffelli found space on the outside to score. Their joy was short-lived as Tamura stepped in to wrestle back the ascendancy for the Sunwolves.
The flyhalf did an excellent job on Juan Martín Hernández in defence and when the roles were reversed, the Argentinian was found wanting. Tumara added a second penalty and then a self-converted try after Hernández failed to field a pass cleanly and the ball fell to his opposite number, who jogged away to score.
In a frenetic couple of minutes either side of the break, the Sunwolves lost their discipline and the Jaguares regained the lead with a penalty try and a touchdown from Creevy after the visitors were reduced to 14.
At that stage and with all the possession they enjoyed, the hosts looked on course to see the game out, but while they did come away with the result, it wasn’t without a few more twists. The Sunwolves would open a 12-point lead with two more tries, but scores from Matías Alemanno and Creevy from close quarters levelled it all again.
Then – to the detriment of the Sunwolves – a sniping run by replacement scrumhalf Martín Landajo, who is back from a long stint on the sidelines due to injury – laid the platform for Matías Moroni to dot down for the winning try.
Jaguares – Tries: Leonardo Senatore, Emiliano Boffelli, penalty try, Agustín Creevy (2), Matías Alemanno, Matías Moroni. Conversions: Juan Martín Hernández (2), automatic conversion, Joaquín Diaz. Penalty: Hernández.
Sunwolves – Tries: Will Tupou, Shota Emi, Yu Tamura (2), Sam Wykes. Conversions: Tamura (4). Penalties: Tamura (2).
Jaguares – 15 Joaquín Tuculet, 14 Santiago Cordero, 13 Matias Orlando, 12 Santiago González Iglesias, 11 Emiliano Boffelli, 10 Juan Martín Hernández, 9 Felipe Ezcurra, 8 Leonardo Senatore, 7 Rodrigo Baez, 6 Tomás Lezana, 5 Marcos Kremer, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Ramiro Herrera, 2 Agustín Creevy, 1 Santiago Garcia Botta.
Subs: 16 Roberto Tejerizo, 17 Lucas Noguera Paz, 18 Enrique Pieretto Heilan, 19 Matías Alemanno, 20 Juan Manuel Leguizamón, 21 Martín Landajo, 22 Nicolás Sánchez, 23 Matias Moroni.
Sunwolves – 15 Kotaro Matsushima, 14 Shota Emi, 13 Will Tupou, 12 Timothy Lafaele (c), 11 Kenki Fukuoka, 10 Yu Tamura, 9 Yuki Yatomi, 8 Willie Britz, 7 Shunsuke Nunomaki, 6 Rahboni Warren-Vosayaco, 5 Uwe Helu, 4 Sam Wykes, 3 Yasuo Yamaji, 2 Yusuke Niwai, 1 Koki Yamamoto.
Subs: 16 Takeshi Hino, 17 Keita Inagaki, 18 Takuma Asahara, 19 Shinya Makabe, 20 Ed Quirk, 21 Keisuke Uchida, 22 Jumpei Ogura, 23 Ryohei Yamanaka.
Photo: Juan Mabromata/Getty Images