The Stormers beat the Jaguares 29-14 in an error-strewn friendly match at Newlands on Saturday, reports JON CARDINELLI.
The Cape franchise won by 15 points. They scored four tries and conceded two. Some might see those numbers, and declare the outing a success.
Others, who perhaps watched the game, will admit that the Stormers have a lot to rectify before they meet the Bulls in their Super Rugby opener on 27 February.
On this occasion, the Stormers were helped by a dangerous yet predictable Jaguares side. The visitors overplayed their hand on attack. They attempted to run absolutely everything, regardless of field position. The tactic proved largely counterproductive.
The Stormers weren’t especially clinical, but still managed to go to half-time with a 12-0 lead. The best aspect of their game was their scrummaging. Against all expectations, the Stormers bossed the much-fancied Argentinians at this set piece. Loosehead Oli Kebble got the best of tighthead Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro.
The hosts lacked intensity at the collisions and breakdown, and rarely breached the gainline. What aided the Stormers’ cause, though, was the Jaguares’ tactics.
The visitors refused to kick the ball out from their own 22. Their tendency to concede possession after a sweeping attack from deep played into the Stormers’ hands.
The Stormers made two of their many opportunities count. Dillyn Leyds produced a great grubber kick, and Leolin Zas beat the opposition to the rolling ball. Leyds scored the hosts’ second try after cutting the Jaguares' defence and racing 30m to the tryline.
The visitors recorded their first points in the 55th minute. They took the Stormers on from close range, and succeeded in making some easy metres. They continued to apply the pressure via their forwards. The ball was eventually sent wide, and Santiago González Iglesias ghosted through a gap to score.
Khanyo Ngcukana scored a wonderful try in the 63rd minute. The home scrum obliged with a solid platform, and the ball was passed to Ngcukana at first receiver. The Stormers winger beat the first man and then handed off the cover defender before dotting the ball down under the posts.
The Jaguares finished strongly, with No 8 Facundo Isa scoring a five-pointer. However, the try only served to add some respectability to the scoreline. The Argentinians may well have recorded a victory had they employed a more balanced approach.
Stormers – Tries: Leolin Zas, Dillyn Leyds, Khanyo Ngcukana, JD Schickerling. Conversions: Robert du Preez, Brandon Thompson (2). Penalty: Du Preez.
Jaguares – Tries: Santiago González Iglesias, Facundo Isa. Conversions: Emiliano Boffelli, Iglesias.
Stormers – 15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Johnny Kotze, 12 Huw Jones, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Nizaam Carr (c), 7 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 6 Rynhardt Elstadt, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Jean Kleyn, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Oli Kebble.
Subs: Scarra Ntubeni, Michael Willemse, JC Janse van Rensburg, JP Smith, Alistair Vermaak, Jan de Klerk, JD Schickerling, Rikus Bothma, Jurie van Vuuren, Nic Groom, Godlen Masimla, Louis Schreuder, Kurt Coleman, Brandon Thompson, Ryan Oosthuizen, Khanyo Ngcukana.
Jaguares – 15 Joaquín Tuculet, 14 Matías Orlando, 13 Matías Moroni, 12 Jerónimo De La Fuente, 11 Santiago Cordero, 10 Nicolás Sánchez, 9 Martín Landajo, 8 Facundo Isa, 7 Juan Manuel Leguizamon, 6 Tomás Lezana, 5 Tomas Lavanini, 4 Matías Alemanno, 3 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 2 Agustín Creevy (c), 1 Santiago García Botta.
Subs: 16 Julian Montoya, 17 Lucas Noguera Paz, 18 Cristian Bartoloni, 19 Felipe Arregui, 20 Santiago Iglesias Valdez, 21 Felipe Ezcurra, 22 Santiago González Iglesias, 23 Rodrigo Baez, 24 Emiliano Boffelli, 25 Tomás Carrio, 26 Gonzalo Bertranou, 27 Javier Ortega Desio, 28 Leonardo Senatore, 29 Pablo Matera, 30 Guido Petti, 31 Ignacio Larrague, 32 Ramiro Herrera.
Photo: Thinus Maritz/Gallo Images