Domingo Miotti scored 18 points to inspire the Jaguares to a comprehensive 38-8 bonus-point victory over the Lions in Buenos Aires on Sunday.
The result makes it a record fifth straight win for the Jaguares over South African opposition as well as their sixth consecutive regular-season win.
The 30-point triumph moves them to the top of the South African conference standings, while the Crusaders and Sunwolves leading the way in the New Zealand and Australian conferences respectively.
Both sides started reservedly, but as the match progressed the hosts found their rhythm, while the Lions appeared unsettled.
Injury struck early for the Jaguares when flyhalf Joaquin Diaz Bonilla was forced off in the seventh minute. But it proved to be a blessing in disguise as his replacement, Miotti, sparked the home side to life.
Soon after his premature introduction to the game, Miotti unlocked the Lions defence for a self-converted try after some good work from the Jaguares forwards from a lineout close to the tryline.
The Lions’ only points of the match followed in quick succession when a breakaway try from scrumhalf Andre Warner coupled with a penalty put them in the lead. But that wasn’t even enough as Miotti struck again, this time with a penalty as the Jaguares took what ultimately proved to be an unassailable lead at half-time.
It was one-way traffic after the break. Miotti produced a tactical kicking masterclass to keep the Lions pinned in their own half and also helped the Jaguares retain possession with accurate and well-aimed up and unders, which cause the visitors all sorts of trouble.
The Jaguares scored 28 unanswered points via four converted tries of which outside centre Matias Moroni bagged a double. But even his feat was overshadowed by the excellence of Miotti. The 23-year-old sliced through the heart of the Lions defence to notch up two try-assist, while also producing a perfect six from six goal-kicking return.
Jaguares – Tries: Domingo Miotti, Matias Moroni (2), Javier Ortega Desio, Augustin Creevy. Conversions: Miotti (5). Penalty: Miotti.
Lions – Try: Andre Warner. Penalty: Elton Jantjies.
Jaguares – 15 Santiago Carreras, 14 Bautista Delguy, 13 Matias Moroni, 12 Juan Cruz Mallia, 11 Emiliano Boffelli, 10 Joaquin Diaz Bonilla, 9 Tomas Cubelli (c), 8 Tomas Lezana, 7 Marcos Kremer, 6 Francisco Gorrissen, 5 Lucas Paulos, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Santiago Medrano, 2 Julian Motoya, 1 Mayco Vivas.
Subs: 16 Agustin Creevy, 17 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 18 Joel Sclavi, 19 Javier Ortega Desio, 20 Rodrigo Bruni, 21 Felipe Ezcurra, 22 Domingo Miotti, 23 Matias Orlando.
Lions – 15 Tiaan Swanepoel, 14 Tyrone Green, 13 Duncan Matthews, 12 Dan Kriel, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies (captain), 9 Andre Warner, 8 Len Massyn, 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Ruben Schoeman, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Pieter Jansen, 1 Dylan Smith.
Subs:16 Jan-Henning Campher, 17 Sti Sithole, 18 Carlu Sadie, 19 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 20 Ruan Vermaak, 21 Hacjivah Dayimani, 22 Morne van der Berg, 23 Manuel Rass.
Photo: Daniel Jayo/Getty Images