Jaguares too strong for Kings
REPORT: A superb try by Jaguares scrumhalf Gonzalo Bertranou highlighted a 39-26 Super Rugby triumph for the Argentines over Southern Kings in South Africa Saturday.
Half the visiting team handled the ball in a move started inside their '22' at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth.
Bertranou, deputising for injured Argentina star Martin Landajo, rounded off a string of slick passes by dotting down on 16 minutes.
Injuries ruled out two other Argentina backline stars, centre Juan Martin Hernandez and flyhalf Nicolas Sanchez.
Outstanding young No.8 Facundo Isa was missing, too, having signed for French club Toulon.
Fullback Joaquin Tuculet, one of many internationals in the Argentine line-up, produced an outstanding performance.
"It was important to start the season with a victory and this result makes up for our loss here last year," he said.
"I believe we will be more patient in our second season of Super Rugby and now look forward to facing the Stormers in Cape Town next weekend."
The Kings began promisingly and the accuracy of flyhalf Lionel Cronje from penalty kicks had the hosts 12-10 ahead midway through the opening half.
But the Jaguares responded with three penalties to lead by seven points at half-time.
After two more penalties in the second half stretched the lead to 25-12, another counter-attack try by the visitors ended the match as a contest.
A turnover ball inside the 22 enabled Tuculet to break free and he sent No.8 Leonardo Senatore on a long run to the line.
Jaguares' third try came from Tuculet and flyhalf Joaquin Diaz Bonilla kicked a conversion and three penalties before being injured.
The goal-kicking of replacement playmaker Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias was also flawless as he slotted two conversions and three penalties.
Wings Makazole Mapimpi and Luzuko Vulindlu scored a try each for the Kings and Cronje kicked two conversions and four penalties.
Man of the match: Joaquín Tuculet deserves a special mention for his creativity on attack, but the award goes to Jaguares No.8 Leonardo Senatore for his all-round performance.
For Southern Kings:
Tries: Mapimpi, Vulindlu
Cons: Cronje 2
Pens: Cronje 4
Tries: Bertranou, Senatore. Tuculet
Cons: Bonilla, González Iglesias 2
Pens: Bonilla 3, González Iglesias 3
Yellow cards: Ross Geldenhuys (Southern Kings, 22 - dangerous play); Felipe Ezcurra (Jaguares, 73 - cynical play); Matías Moroni (Jaguares, 79 - dangerous play)
Southern Kings: 15 Chrysander Botha, 14 Makazole Mapimpi, 13 Berton Klaasen, 12 Waylon Murray, 11 Malcolm Jaer, 10 Lionel Cronje, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Ruaan Lerm, 7 Stefan Willemse, 6 Andisa Ntsila, 5 Mzwanele Zito, 4 Irne Herbst, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Michael Willemse, 1 Schalk Ferreira (captain).
Replacements: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Schalk van der Merwe, 18 Chris Heiberg, 19 Tyler Paul, 20 Chris Cloete, 21 Rudi van Rooyen, 22 Masixole Banda, 23 Luzuko Vulindlu.
Jaguares: 15 Joaquín Tuculet, 14 Matías Orlando, 13 Matías Moroni, 12 Jerónimo de la Fuente, 11 Santiago Cordero, 10 Joaquín Díaz Bonilla, 9 Gonzalo Bertranou, 8 Leonardo Senatore, 7 Pablo Matera, 6 Tomás Lezana, 5 Matías Alemanno, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Felipe Arregui, 2 Agustín Creevy (captain), 1 Lucas Noguera Paz.
Replacements: 16 Julián Montoya, 17 Santiago García Botta, 18 Cristian Bartoloni, 19 Marcos Kremer, 20 Rodrigo Báez, 21 Felipe Ezcurra, 22 Santiago González Iglesias, 23 Ramiro Moyano.
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: AJ Jacobs (South Africa), Archie Sehlako (South Africa)
TMO: Johan Greeff (South Africa)