Force tame Jaguares in Buenos Aires
SUPER RUGBY REPORT: The Western Force ended their tour with a hard-fought 16-6 win over the Jaguares in Buenos Aires on Saturday.
The win kept the Force's hopes of qualifying for the play-offs alive, while the result was also a huge blow to the Jaguares prospects in this year's Super Rugby season.
Both teams had plenty of the ball to work with in the opening stages. However, poor handling and decision making proved to be a thorn in both sides.
The Force had the first real opportunity in the game in the 18th minute, but No.8 Richard Hardwick lost the ball over the tryline after good momentum from a scrum 10 metres from the Jaguares' tryline.
The Jaguares were then handed a huge advantage in the 28th minute when Force lock Richie Arnold was yellow-card for an early tackle in his 22.
However, the home side did not make good use of their extra man and after two failed line-out drives in the strike zone, the Force were able to clear their lines with a penalty of their own after showing some strong resistance.
The first points of the game eventually came in the 36th minute when scrumhalf Ian Prior knocked over a penalty after sustained pressure in Jaguares' half.
The home side did have the final scoring opportunity in the first half after Joaquin Tuculet found himself in space down the touchline, only to lose the ball forward metres from the tryline after a good cover tackle from Curtis Rona.
There was some more drama right at the start of the second half when Semisi Masirewa put James Verity-Amm in space to sprint in for a try. However, it was disallowed soon after, when some obstruction was spotted in the replays after a TMO referral.
A few minutes later the Jaguares finally got on the board when Juan Martin Hernández converted a penalty to level matters.
Play then went back and forth between the two halves without much success until the Force regained their lead in the 61st minute with another Prior penalty.
However, the visitors lead was short-lived after Hernandez levelled matters just three minutes later.
With just over ten minutes left in the game, the dam wall finally broke when Force wing Alex Newsome crossed the whitewash after the visitors put a number of phases together in the Jaguares' half.
With just over five minutes left the force put the game to bed when replacement Isireli Naisarani crashed over from close range after sustained pressure from the Force in the Jaguares' 22.
Man of the match: Alex Newsome was a livewire out wide, while Richard Hardwick did a lot of good work on attack and defence. However, the award goes to Semisi Masirewa for his powerful carries and his creativity in the backline.
Pens: Hernández 2
For Western Force:
Tries: Newsome, Naisarani
Pens: Prior 2
Yellow card: Richie Arnold (Western Force, 27 - cynical play, tackling the player without the ball)
Jaguares: 15 Joaquin Tuculet, 14 Santiago Cordero, 13 Matias Moroni, 12 Jeronimo De La Fuente, 11 Bautista Ezcurra, 10 Juan Martin Hernández, 9 Martin Landajo, 8 Benjamin Macome, 7 Juan Manuel Leguizamon, 6 Tomas Lezana, 5 Matias Alemanno, 4 Guido Petti Pagadizaval, 3 Ramiro Herrera, 2 Agustin Creevy (captain), 1 Santiago Garcia Botta.
Replacements: 16 Julian Montoya, 17 Lucas Noguera Paz, 18 Felipe Arregui, 19 Tomas Lavanini, 20 Leonardo Senatore, 21 Gonzalo Bertranou, 22 Joaquin Diaz Bonilla, 23 Manuel Montero.
Western Force: 15 Peter Grant, 14 Semisi Masirewa, 13 Curtis Rona, 12 Billy Meakes, 11 Alex Newsome, 10 Jono Lance, 9 Ian Prior, 8 Richard Hardwick, 7 Onehunga Havili, 6 Ross Haylett-Petty, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Richie Arnold, 3 Tetera Faulkner, 2 Heath Tessmann (captain), 1 Francois van Wyk.
Replacements: 16 Anaru Rangi, 17 Pek Cowan, 18 Shambeckler Vui, 19 Lewis Carmichael, 20 Brynard Stander, 21 Isireli Naisarani, 22 Mitchell Short, 23 James Verity-Amm.
Referee: Ben O'Keeffe (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Juan Sylvestre (Argentina), Jose Covasi (Argentina)
TMO: Santiago Borsani (Argentina)