Cane's warning to Jaguares' next opponents
SUPER RUGBY REACTION: All Black star and Chiefs captain Sam Cane issued a warning to the Jaguares’ future opponents.
Brilliant defending helped the Jaguares reach the Super Rugby semifinals for the first time with a 21-16 home victory over the Chiefs on Friday.
The Jaguares will enjoy home advantage again next weekend against the Brumbies after the Australians hammered the Sharks 38-13 in their quarterfinal in Canberra.
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Cane said his team struggled to deal with the Jaguares’ aggression.
“That was real finals rugby and the Jaguares won because they defended better than us,” Cane said of a loss that followed three straight regular season wins.
“The pressure they put on us forced errors and penalties and I wish them all the best in the remainder of the competition.
“They attacked aggressively at the breakdowns, which often prevented us winning quick ball, and if they continue to play like this, they are going to be hard to stop.”
Overcoming the Chiefs was another massive step forward for a Buenos Aires outfit packed with Argentina internationals – 14 started and another seven were on the bench.
The Jaguares won only four of 15 matches as 2016 debutants, achieved seven second-season victories and reached the quarterfinals for the first time last year.
“This is a dream victory,” said Jaguares skipper and centre Jeronimo de la Fuente. “We have beaten great rivals in the Chiefs.
“I thought our defending tonight was magnificent with everyone putting their body on the line and restricting the Chiefs to one try.
“We came under huge pressure about 10 minutes from the end as the Chiefs crept closer and closer to our line with each phase, but we survived.”
A potential disadvantage for the Argentines is a long flight to New Zealand should they reach the Final, to face trophy-holders the Crusaders in Christchurch.
The Crusaders beat fellow New Zealanders the Highlanders 38-14 in the first quarterfinal Friday to set up a home semifinal against the Hurricanes.