Lions fight back to edge Jaguares
SUPER RUGBY REPORT: A determined Lions fought their way back in the final 10 minutes to overturn a 14-21 deficit to edge the Jaguares 24-21 at Ellis Park.
It was by no means a pretty game as both sides were guilty of handling errors throughout the encounter. The Lions were punished for their errors early in the second half but scored 10 points in the final 10 minutes to stretch their unbeaten home record to nine matches.
The Lions held a 14-7 lead at the break before finding themselves down by seven points early in the second half. They fought their way back though and
The Jaguares maintained possession from the outset and set about running the ball at the Lions. After a number of phases, Nicolas Sanchez exploited a gap in the home side's defence. The ball found Matias Orlando, who dotted down. Sanchez added the extras to hand the Jaguares a 7-0 lead after four minutes.
It was Lions' turn to get their hands on the ball and found themselves camped in the Jaguares' 22. Their patience was rewarded in the 11th minute when Harold Vorster ran a brilliant line to cut through the visitors' defence. Elton Jantjies added the extras to level the score at 7-7.
The Lions remained in control of the possession from that point but handling errors plagued them at crucial stages inside the Jaguares' 22. However, a moment of individual brilliance put the home side in the lead.
Lionel Mapoe received the ball on the Jaguares' 10-metre line. He feigned a pass before setting off on a run and stepping his way past four defenders to score under the posts. Jantjies added the easy conversion to hand the Lions a 14-7 lead after 22 minutes.
Both sides had chances to add to the scoreboard for the remainder of the half but failed to do so as the home side took a narrow seven-point lead into the break.
The Jaguares made another fast start as they dominated territory and possession after the restart. The Lions were under severe pressure and conceded two tries in the space of four minutes. First Rodrigo Baez crashed his way over in the 48th minute before Guido Petti dotted down in the corner.
Sanchez was on the money with both conversions to hand the Jaguares a 21-14 lead after 52 minutes.
Things were not going the Lions' way as they were reduced to 14-men in the 55th minute when Vorster was shown a yellow card for intentionally slowing the ball down inside his 22 but the Jaguares could not capitalise on the extra man.
Despite being under pressure and basic errors plaguing them, the Lions got themselves level in the 72nd minute when Ruan Ackermann rounded off a free-flowing, swift counter-attack. Jantjies' conversion levelled the scores at 21-21.
Jantjies handed the home side a slender 24-21 lead in the 77th minute before hanging onto that lead in the final minutes to claim the victory.
Man of the match: Guido Petti was a monster in all facets while scrumhalf Felipe Ezcurra was quick to the breakdown and handed his teammates premium ball. Matias Orlando was slippery with ball-in-hand while flyhalf Nicolas Sanchez' tactical kicking complimented the manner in which he read the game. Andries Coetzee's awareness saw him collect plenty of ball while Harold Vorster and Lionel Mapoe were dangerous when they had the ball. Ruan Ackermann and Franco Mostert were the workhorses that kept the Lions going while Jaco Kriel turned the ball over on a number of occasions at crucial stages in the game. However, Jaguares captain Agustin Creevy was as tough as nails but his mobility and work at the breakdowns is something to admire, which sees him walking away with the award.
For the Lions:
Tries: Vorster, Mapoe, Ackermann
Cons: Jantjies 3
For the Jaguares:
Tries: Orlando, Baez, Petti
Cons: Sanchez 2
Yellow card: Harold Vorster (Lions, 55 - cynical infringement, not rolling away)
Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Madosh Tambwe, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronjé, 8 Warren Whiteley (captain), 7 Ruan Ackermann, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Johannes Jonker, 2 Armand van der Merwe, 1 Corné Fourie.
Replacements: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Jacques van Rooyen, 18 Ruan Dreyer, 19 Lourens Erasmus, 20 Albertus Smith, 21 Francois de Klerk, 22 Jacques Nel, 23 Sylvian Mahuza.
Jaguares: 15 Ramiro Moyano, 14 Santiago Cordero, 13 Matias Orlando, 12 Jeronimo De La Fuente, 11 Bautista Ezcurra, 10 Nicolas Sanchez, 9 Felipe Ezcurra, 8 Benjamin Macome, 7 Rodrigo Baez, 6 Tomas Lezana, 5 Marcos Kremer, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Ramiro Herrera, 2 Agustin Creevy (captain), 1 Lucas Noguera Paz.
Replacements: 16 Roberto Tejerizo, 17 Santiago Garcia Botta, 18 Enrique Pieretto, 19 Ignacio Larrague, 20 Pablo Matera, 21 Gonzalo Bertranou, 22 Joaquin Diaz Bonilla, 23 Emiliano Boffelli.
Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant referees: Ben O'Keeffe (New Zealand), Cwengile Jadezweni (South Africa)
TMO: Willie Vos (South Africa)