VIDEO: Argentineans lead SA conference
SUPER RUGBY REPORT: The Jaguares took a giant leap towards winning the South African conference when they upstaged the Hurricanes 28-20 in Wellington on Friday.
The Jaguares overcame a horror start to post a maiden win over the Hurricanes – a result that ended a five-match winning streak for the home team.
The South Americans, who won all four matches on their Australasian tour last year, moved to the top of the SA conference and look a good bet for a top-two finish.
The Jaguares now head across the Tasman Sea to Australia – where they play the Waratahs and Reds – before heading to South Africa for a crunch match with the Sharks in the penultimate round of league action.
After conceding a try in the opening minute, the committed Jaguares piled on the pressure and punished a mistake-ridden performance from the Hurricanes.
They scored four tries to three, with a Hurricanes’ effort after the siren flattering the scoreline for the hosts, who had not lost at home to non-New Zealand opposition since April 2015.
“This is really big for us as a team,” captain Pablo Matera said as his players celebrated with hugs and kisses on the field.
“To come here and get a victory in Wellington against one of the best teams in the world, it’s amazing.”
Matera said the Jaguares were confident after a narrow 27-32 loss to the Highlanders last week.
“We thought if we could make a few things better we could win here,” he said.
“We’re growing as a team and we can beat anyone, we demonstrated that in this match.”
The Hurricanes stunned the Jaguares with a try in the first minute, when Jordie Barrett made a run then Ngani Laumape’s grubber kick found Vaea Fifita in space.
Barrett turned from hero to villain when he deliberately knocked the ball out of play as the Jaguares were poised to score, earning himself a yellow card and the opposition a penalty try.
The Jaguares extended their lead when Agustin Creevy crashed over the line from the back of a driving maul, with Joaquin Diaz Bonilla adding the conversion.
Jeronimo De La Fuente added a third try after the Jaguares stole a line-out ball, catching the Hurricanes’ defence flat-footed, heading into the break leading 21-8.
Laumape scored soon after the restart but Julian Montoya restored the Jaguares buffer with 13 minutes to go.
Kane Le’aupepe’s late converted try offered some consolation after a Hurricanes’ performance that captain Thomas Perenara described as “disappointing” and “frustrating”.
“We did some good things but didn’t execute for long enough and when they had opportunities at our end of the field they put points on us,” he said.
Man of the match: Ben Lam and Ardie Savea were the Hurricanes’ most productive players. Emiliano Boffelli and Ramiro Moyano made plenty of metres with the ball in hand. Pablo Matera and Agustin Creevy again showed their experience and amazing workrates. Our award goes to the find of the season – Jaguares flyhalf Joaquin Diaz Bonilla, who again showed how valuable he can be to his country at the World Cup.
For the Hurricanes:
Tries: Fifita, Laumape, Leaupepe
For the Jaguares:
Tries: Penalty try, Creevy, De La Fuente, Montoya
Cons: Penalty try does not require a conversion, Bonilla 3
Yellow card: Jordie Barrett (Hurricanes, 14 – cynical foul, deliberately knocking the ball over the deadball line)
RECAP: Hurricanes v Jaguares
Did you miss any of the action? Recap all the drama here!
Hurricanes: 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Wes Goosen, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Ben Lam, 10 James Marshall, 9 Thomas Perenara (captain), 8 Ardie Savea, 7 Du’Plessis Kirifi, 6 Vaea Fifita, 5 Isaia Walker-Leawere, 4 James Blackwell, 3 Jeff To’omaga-Allen, 2 Asafo Aumua, 1 Toby Smith.
Replacements: 16 Ricky Riccitelli, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Ross Geldenhuys, 19 Kane Le’aupepe, 20 Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, 21 Finlay Christie, 22 Fletcher Smith, 23 Salesi Rayasi.
Jaguares: 15 Emiliano Boffelli, 14 Sebastian Cancelliere, 13 Matias Moroni, 12 Jeronimo de la Fuente (captain), 11 Ramiro Moyano, 10 Joaquín Díaz Bonilla, 9 Tomás Cubelli, 8 Javier Ortega Desio, 7 Juan Manual Leguizamon, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Tomás Lavanini, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Enriqua Pieretto, 2 Agustin Creevy, 1 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro.
Replacements: 16 Julian Montoya, 17 Mayco Vivas, 18 Santiago Medrano, 19 Lucas Paulos, 20 Marcos Kremer, 21 Felipe Ezcurra, 22 Domingo Miotti, 23 Matias Orlando.
Referee: Brendon Pickerill
Assistant referees: Mike Fraser, Paul Williams
TMO: Aaron Paterson