Kings score historic win against spiteful Jaguares
SUPER RUGBY MATCH REPORT: The Southern Kings score a historic first-ever win in Buenos Aires when they edged the Jaguares 31-30 on Friday.
The home team outscored the visitors from South Africa by five tries yo four, but poor goal-kicking and a shocking lack of discipline cost them dearly.
In fact the Argentinians, the most carded team the past two seasons, were fortunate to escape with just penalties - given the number of off-the-ball incidents.
The handling from both teams also left a lot to be desired - with 30-odd unforced errors in the match.
While it was not a classic, in terms of quality of execution, it was certainly entertaining in terms of the endeavour of both side.
The Kings made an impressive start, dominating territory and possession through the opening minutes. However, they were not clinical enough to turn their opportunities into points.
The Jaguares, who also had their wasted chances in the first quarter, eventually opened the scoring in the15th minute - when he burst over after a scrum inside the Kings 22. Nicolas Sanchez failed with the conversion attempt.
The Kings hit back in the 22nd minute - a line-out five metres out became a ruck and Luzuko Vulindlu burst over with a powerful run. Lionel Cronjé kicked the conversion for 7-5 lead.
Sanchez regained the lead with a penalty - awarded to the Jaguares from a scrum - in the 25th minute.
However, within three minutes Kings wing Makazole Mapimpi sprinted over in the left corner - a try coming from a solid Kings scrum. Cronje's conversion made it 14-8 to the visitors.
The see-saw battle continued as Jaguares left wing Emiliano Boffelli went over, chasing a perfectly-timed grubber. Sanchez was again wide with the conversion attempt.
Two minutes from half-time Sanchez slopped over for a try, cutting back against the drifting defence, to regain the lead for the hosts.
Right on the stroke of half-time Cronje had a penalty shot at goal, but it was well wide and the Jaguares took a 20-14 lead into the break.
Joaquin Tuculet opened the second-half scoring - chasing and collecting a sublime grubber by Sanchez -ho failed with the conversion attempt.
The Kings' response was a penalty by flyhalf Lionel Cronje two minutes later.
Sanchez was again wide of the mark with a relatively easy penalty attempt, before Mapimpi went over for his second try of the match - some great interplay leading up to the five-pointer. Cronje added the extras to make it a one-point (24-25) game.
Replacement Joaquin Diaz Bonilla was also wide of the mark, as the home team's goal-kicking let them down as much as their handling.
The Kings regained the lead with just on nine minutes left on the clock - a powerful scrum and a few rucks later Wandile Mjekevu slipped over right next to the uprights. Cronje made it 31-25 with the conversion.
Two minutes later Tuculet got his second try, from a perfectly-timed cross-field kick. Bonilla was well wide of the mark with the conversion attempt - making it one-point (31-30) game.
The Kings had a late chance for a try, but conceded a penalty, before winning a turnover and then holding on for a famous win.
Man of the match: Pablo Matera produced his usual high workrate, while Martín Landajo provided a solid service from the base of the scrum. However, the Jaguares' most effective player was flyhalf Nicolás Sánchez. Many Kings came into contention - with captain Lionel Cronje the most effective backline player. Our award goes to the Kings loose trio of Andisa Ntsila, Tyler Paul and Chris Cloete - for their tireless efforts at the breakdown defence and with ball in hand.
For the Jaguares:
Tries: Leguizamon, Boffelli, Sanchez, Tuculet 2
For the Southern Kings:
Tries: Vulindlu, Mapimpi 2, Mjekevu
Cons: Cronje 4
Jaguares: 15 Joaquín Tuculet, 14 Matías Moroni, 13 Matías Orlando, 12 Bautista Ezcurra, 11 Emiliano Boffelli, 10 Nicolás Sánchez, 9 Martín Landajo (captain), 8 Leonardo Senatore, 7 Juan Manuel Leguizamón, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Matías Alemanno, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 2 Julián Montoya, 1 Lucas Noguera.
Replacements: 16 Roberto Tejerizo, 17 Santiago García Botta, 18 Enrique Pieretto, 19 Ignacio Larrague, 20 Rodrigo Báez, 21 Gonzalo Bertranou, 22 Joaquín Díaz Bonilla, 23 Santiago Cordero.
Southern Kings: 15 Malcolm Jaer, 14 Wandile Mjekevu, 13 Berton Klaasen, 12 Luzuko Vulindlu, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Lionel Cronje (captain), 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Andisa Ntsila, 7 Tyler Paul, 6 Chris Cloete, 5 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 4 Irne Herbst, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Michael Willemse, 1 Mzamo Majola.
Replacements: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Schalk Ferreira, 18 Dayan van der Westhuizen, 19 Lubabalo Mtyanda, 20 Thembelani Bholi, 21 Stefan Ungerer, 22 Masixole Banda, 23 Yaw Penxe.
Referee: Jamie Nutbrown (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Pali Deluca (Argentina), Damian Schneider (Argentina)
TMO: Santiago Borsani