Aphiwe Dyantyi scored two tries as the Lions claimed a 47-27 bonus-point win against the Jaguares at Ellis Park on Saturday, writes SIMON BORCHARDT.
The 23-year-old winger, who was named Man of the Match after his Super Rugby debut against the Sharks last weekend, was again the star of the show. He will no doubt be on Bok boss Rassie Erasmus’ radar and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him wear the green and gold at some stage this year.
After a slow start in front of just 10,060 fans, the Lions took the lead through a penalty try and never looked back. According to Rugby Stats, they enjoyed 64% of the possession and 70% of the territory, making 855 running metres compared to their opponents’ 349. They also completed 91% of their tackles.
The scrums were a mess for both sides, with the Lions conceding two penalties at the set piece to the Jaguares’ four.
The Argentinians pushed the Stormers close at Newlands last weekend and looked set to do the same at Ellis Park when they scored the first try of the match within three minutes.
After a good build-up, Leonardo Senatore drew Lionel Mapoe and passed to Bautista Ezcurra. The centre found captain Pablo Matera, who sent the ball out to Emiliano Boffelli, with the winger cutting back inside to evade Andries Coetzee’s cover tackle. Nicolás Sánchez slotted the touchline conversion and Emiliano Boffelli made it 10-0 with a long-range penalty.
The visitors were just as impressive on defence in the opening quarter, with their linespeed shutting down the Lions’ attackers. However, Dyantyi was able to beat a couple of Jaguares defenders in the 23rd minute, and the Lions were awarded a kickable penalty. Elton Jantjies, though, was told to kick for the corner. The Lions lost possession from the lineout and while they earned a 5m scrum by driving their opponents back over their tryline, the Jaguares were awarded a penalty from the subsequent scrum.
The Lions pack got their revenge soon after when they shoved the Jaguares off their scrum ball and were awarded a penalty, 40m out. Instead of Jantjies going for goal, Ross Cronjé took a quick penalty tap, and this time the bold approach paid off. Harold Vorster’s pin-point skip pass found Dyantyi, who cut back inside past two defenders to score.
The Jaguares then suffered a double setback in the 33rd minute when Bautista Delguy was yellow-carded for a deliberate knock-down that resulted in a penalty try. Referee Jaco Peyer and TMO Willie Vos ruled that as there were no cover defenders, a try would probably have been scored had Warren Whiteley’s pass gone to Dyantyi. The Jaguares, though, had reason to feel aggrieved as Gonzalo Bertranou was possibly in a position to prevent a try.
The Lions made their numerical advantage count just before half-time when Mapoe’s one-handed offload in the tackle put Coetzee away and Jantjies’ conversion made it 19-10.
The hosts struck again six minutes into the second half, this time against 15 men, from a scrum on halfway. Coetzee’s dummy run created space for Dyantyi and he passed to Sylvian Mahuza, on the Jaguares 10m line. The winger had too much pace for Ezcurra and Delguy, and dotted down for the Lions’ fourth try.
A penalty from Sánchez reduced the gap to 13 points, but a more sensible option, at that stage of the game, would have been to push for a try.
Soon after, Dyantyi scored a superb long-range try, with his speed and stepping leaving the Jaguares’ defenders grasping thin air. Wave after wave of attack then resulted in a try for Rohan Janse van Rensburg under the posts.
The Jaguares lost another man to the sin bin, reserve hooker Julian Montoya, with 10 minutes to go, but a loose pass from the Lions allowed Delguy to score his first Super Rugby try. The winger grabbed his second, after chasing down a kick, to add some more respectability to the scoreboard.
But the Lions had the last say, when Whiteley scored his side’s seventh try.
Lions – Tries: Aphiwe Dyantyi (2), penalty try, Andries Coetzee, Sylvian Mahuza, Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Warren Whiteley. Conversions: Elton Jantjies (4).
Jaguares – Tries: Emiliano Boffelli, Bautista Delguy (2). Conversions: Nicolás Sánchez (2). Penalties: Boffelli, Sánchez.
Lions – 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Sylvian Mahuza, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronjé, 8 Warren Whiteley (c), 7 Cyle Brink, 6 Kwagga Smith, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Jacques van Rooyen.
Subs: 16 Robbie Coetzee, 17 Dylan Smith, 18 Jacobie Adriaanse, 19 Lourens Erasmus, 20 Hacjivah Dayimani, 21 Marco Janse van Rensburg, 22 Howard Mnisi, 23 Rohan Janse van Rensburg.
Jaguares – 15 Joaquin Tuculet, 14 Bautista Delguy, 13 Matias Orlando, 12 Bautista Ezcurra, 11 Emiliano Boffelli, 10 Nicolás Sánchez, 9 Gonzalo Bertranou, 8 Leonardo Senatore, 7 Javier Ortega, 6 Pablo Matera (c), 5 Tomas Lavanini, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 2 Agustin Creevy, 1 Felipe Arregui.
Subs: 16 Julian Montoya, 17 Javier Manuel, 18 Juan Pablo Zeiss, 19 Matias Alemanno, 20 Marcos Kremer, 21 Martin Landajo, 22 Juan Manuel Leguizamón, 23 Ramiro Moyano.
Photo: Gordon Arons/Gallo Images