Jaguares make history
SUPER RUGBY REPORT: The Jaguares made history by reaching the semifinals for the first time.
Even more so, they will host a home semifinal in Buenos Aires next week.
They achieved that with an impressive 21-16 win over the Chiefs in a thrilling and intriguing quarterfinal at José Amalfitani Stadium on Friday (local time).
Chiefs captain Sam Cane admitted that the Jaguares’ defence won them the game.
“They thoroughly deserved their win,” Cane said, adding: “The style they played will bode them well going forward.”
The one aspect where the Chiefs had the upperhand was in the scrums – which has been a problem for the Jaguares all year.
However, the Chiefs coughed up plenty of possession at the breakdown, through penalties, knock-ons and in the line-outs – their turnovers mounting up to 20.
The other telling aspect was the Jaguares’ defence under pressure, especially in the second half.
AS IT HAPPENED: Did you miss any of the action? Recap all the drama here!
The Jaguares got off to the perfect start. A turnover inside the Chiefs 22, from the kick-off, saw the hosts take the ball through a few phases, before Pablo Matera barged over from close range.
In the 21st minute flyhalf Joaquin Diaz Bonilla, who missed the early conversion attempt, slotted a penalty to stretch the Jaguares’ lead to 8-0.
However, a Brad Weber break eventually created the momentum that saw flank Lachlan Boshier go over and get the Chiefs on the board. Jack Debreczeni added the conversion to make it a one-point (8-7) game.
That became 10-7 to the Chiefs with a Debreczeni penalty – which is the way it stayed till half-time.
The second half started with New Debreczeni kicking a second penalty, making it 13-8.
It was followed by another scrum penalty to the Chiefs. With Debreczeni having limped off with a groin injury, Marty McKenzie slotted the kick to make it 16-8.
Right on the 50-minute mark, the Chiefs were penalised for offside and the Jaguares set up a line-out deep inside the Chiefs 22. They worked the ball through the phases, first right and then back left, where Matias Moroni had plenty of space to stroll over. Bonilla made it a one-point (15-16) game with the conversion.
The Jaguares got their tails up and picked up the tempo, winning a couple of penalties. Bonilla regained the lead – 18-16.
On the hour mark, Bonilla stretched the lead to 21-16.
The Chiefs continued to win penalties at scrum time, the hosts’ biggest concern. However, their rising turnover count continued to cost them.
And in the Jaguares tackled as if their lives depended on it, holding on for a famous win.
Man of the match: For the Chiefs loose forwards Sam Cane and Lachlan Boshier put in big shifts, while lock Brodie Retallick showed his class – working hard with the ball and off the ball, also winning some turnovers. Hard-working forwards like Pablo Matera, Tomas Lavanini, Guido Petti, Agustin Creevy and his replacement Julian Montoya were the most impressive for the Jaguares. Rookie flyhalf Joaquin Diaz Bonilla produced another masterclass – with his game management showing all the hallmarks of a seasoned veteran. He wins our award.
For the Jaguares:
Tries: Matera, Moroni
Pens: Bonilla 3
For the Chiefs:
Pens: Debreczeni 2, McKenzie
Jaguares: 15 Emiliano Boffelli, 14 Sebastián Cancelliere, 13 Matias Orlando, 12 Jeronimo de la Fuente (captain), 11 Matias Moroni, 10 Joaquin Diaz Bonilla, 9 Tomas Cubelli, 8 Javier Ortega Desio, 7 Marcos Kremer, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Tomas Lavanini, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Santiago Medrano, 2 Agustin Creevy, 1 Mayco Vivas.
Replacements: 16 Julian Montoya, 17 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 18 Enrique Pieretto, 19 Tomas Lezana, 20 Francisco Gorrissen, 21 Felipe Ezcurra, 21 Domingo Miotti, 22 Santiago Carreras.
Chiefs: 15 Solomon Alaimalo, 14 Shaun Stevenson, 13 Tumua Manu, 12 Anton Lienert-Brown, 11 Sean Wainui, 10 Jack Debreczeni, 9 Brad Weber, 8 Pita Gus Sowakula, 7 Sam Cane (captain), 6 Lachlan Boshier, 5 Tyler Ardron, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Angus Ta’avao, 2 Nathan Harris, 1 Atu Moli.
Replacements: 16 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 17 Aidan Ross, 18 Nepo Laulala, 19 Jesse Parete, 20 Mitchell Jacobson, 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22 Marty McKenzie, 23 Alex Nankivell.
Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Nick Briant (New Zealand), Federico Anselmi (Argentina)
TMO: Santiago Borsani (Argentina)