Lions race to the top
It was not perfect, far from it. But the Lions were better by the proverbial country mile.
After a slow start – the Jaguares held a 10-0 lead at the end of the first quarter – the Lions stormed back to take a 19-10 lead at the half-time break.
It could have been far worse, as the Lions were at times their own worst enemies – with sloppy play.
It also didn't help that the referee was very, very lenient towards them – allowing clearly offside players to continue participating.
The Jaguares' discipline again let them down badly, so much so that referee Jaco Peyper decided to speak to the Argentineans about it – even going as far as warning flyhalf Nicolas Sanchez about 'making accusations'.
Add to that the fact the visitors wanted to slow the game down to a crawl and the Lions sped it up and you have the difference between the two sides.
The Lions got off to the worst possible start. A quick passing move from the Jaguares ended with Emiliano Boffelli scoring the game's first try on the left in the third minute.
The hosts found themselves even further behind in the 18th minute. The Jaguares won a penalty near the halfway line and Boffelli kicked the three points.
In the 27th minute, the Lions finally broke their duck. After they worked the ball out to the left, Aphiwe Dyantyi showed what a gem the Lions have in him when he scored their first try – stepping inside one defender and handing off another.
The Jaguares shot themselves in the foot shortly afterwards, when Bautista Delguy picked up a yellow card for a deliberate knock down, for which Jaco Peyper awarded the Lions a penalty try.
Andries Coetzee gave the Lions some breathing space on the stroke of half-time. Lionel Mapoe fed him on the right and he finished off the Lions' third try – 19-10 at the break.
The hosts picked up where they left off after the break. They moved the ball wide, following a scrum and Sylvian Mahuza sprinted through on the right, evading Delguy's attempted tackle and going all the way to the try line in the 47th minute.
Nicolás Sánchez reduced the deficit with a penalty from right under the poles in the 51st minute, but the Lions hit straight back. Dyantyi scored a superb solo try a minute later, running round the outside of several Jaguares defenders, before stepping inside another to finish.
The Lions continued to dominate, and in the 64th minute, Rohan Janse van Rensburg powered his way through under the posts after a patient build-up from the hosts.
The Argentinians nearly scored against the run of play three minutes afterwards, but Albertus Smith made a fantastic try-saving tackle, halting Ramiro Moyano in his tracks on the left.
Smith was at the centre of the action again in the 71st minute, when Julián Montoya was yellow-carded for illegally attempting to clean him out, driving in with his shoulder.
However, Delguy made amends for his earlier yellow card straight afterwards, pouncing on a stray pass from Hacjivah Dayimani out wide and going all the way for a try.
In the 76th minute, Delguy struck again. He chased down Landajo's kick into space and even though he was at least two metres ahead of the kicker, referee Jaco Peyper allowed the try to stand.
However, if the game hadn't already been won by the Lions, Warren Whiteley finished it off in the dying moments. After receiving the ball from Elton Jantjies, he evaded two Jaguares defenders with a great run.
Man of the match: Of course a number of players did put up their hands, but we won't waste your time. Our award goes to the new magic man – Lions wing Aphiwe Dyantyi, blistering pace, a mesmerising step and something to behold with the ball in hand.
For the Lions:
Tries: Dyantyi 2, Penalty try, Coetzee, Mahuza, Janse van Rensburg, Whiteley
Cons: Jantjies 5; Penalty try does not require a conversion – it's a seven-point try
For the Jaguares:
Tries: Boffelli, Delguy 2
Cons: Sanchez 3
Pens: Boffelli 2
Yellow cards: Bautista Delguy (Jaguares, 32 – cynical foul, ball deliberately slapped down), Julian Montoya (Jaguares, 70 – foul play, shoulder charge at the ruck)
Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Sylvian Mahuza, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Warren Whiteley (captain), 7 Cyle Brink, 6 Albertus Smith, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Jacques Van Rooyen.
Replacements: 16 Robbie Coetzee, 17 Dylan Smith, 18 Jacobus Adriaanse, 19 Lourens Erasmus, 20 Hacjivah Dayimani, 21 Marco Jansen Van Vuren, 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 Nicolas Sanchez, 9 Gonzalo Bertranou, 8 Tomas Lezana, 7 Javier Ortega, 6 Pablo Matera (captain), 5 Tomas Lavanini, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 2 Agustin Creevy, 1 Felipe Arregui.
Replacements: 16 Julian Montoya, 17 Javier Manuel, 18 Juan Pablo Zeiss, 19 Matias Alemanno, 20 Marcos Kremer, 21 Martin Landajo, 22 Leonardo Senatore, 23 Ramiro Moyano.
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: AJ Jacobs (South Africa), Jaco Pretorius (South Africa)
TMO: Willie Vos (South Africa)