Jaguares continue their winning march
Gavin Rich
May 26, 2018
A hattrick of tries from wing Ramiro Monyano spearheaded the Jaguares’ drive to a convincing 29-13 bonus point win over the Cell C Sharks in their Vodacom Super Rugby match in Buenos Aires on Friday night.

For the hosts it was the sixth win in succession and while they still have some work to do, and will have to rely on help from other teams, if they are to pip the Lions to the South African conference title and automatic home ground advantage in the quarterfinal round, you could say that their march to the play-offs is starting to look like an inexorable one.

The Argentine side is going to have to lose form quite markedly after the June break if they are to be denied a place in the top eight, which would mean at the very least a wild card entry into the knock-out phase. By scoring four tries to one against the Durbanites, they have now drawn to within two log points of the conference topping Lions after the same number of games.

The Jaguares were never headed in the game and were 17-0 up shortly before halftime and looked then to be cruising to an easy win, but they were made to sweat more than the final scoreline might suggest. Indeed, with 12 minutes to go and the Sharks trailing just 17-13 and on the attack, it looked like they might pull off an unlikely win.


At that point the Sharks had just been denied a try by millimetres as the combination of Lwazi Mvovo and Makazole Mapimpi chased down a ball and the referee Paul Williams had to consult the TMO to confirm that the Sharks had possibly been short of having the necessary control as they crossed the line. It was a 50/50 call and it wasn’t inconceivable that on another day the TMO could have ruled that the ball came off the knee and that it was a try.

The Jaguares had always been threatening though when given a chance to play from broken play or to attack from deep, and a break through some poor Sharks pillar defence (it was non-existent actually) around a ruck in a deep defensive position by fullback Emilliano Boffeli led to a try at the other end of the field for right wing Baltista Delguy.

That was followed almost immediately by what can only be described as an act of madness from Sharks captain Ruan Botha. The lock had earlier scored his team’s only try of the match as they gained a seven point confidence boost on the stroke of halftime, but Botha blotted his copy book with his blatant shoulder charge on a Jaguares forward at a ruck.

Referee Williams had little option but to brandish a red card, and with the Sharks reduced to 14 men against a Jaguares team that was getting progressively more energised and with seven minutes remaining, that was their hope of victory extinguished. They might still have been in the running for a bonus point had they scored points in the remaining time, but instead it was the Jaguares who made the last telling statement of the match, with Moyano crossing for his third try in the left corner.


The Jaguares, who were never headed in the game, have become more potent with every passing week with their attacking play, and with Nicholas Sanchez performing some wizardry in controlling proceedings from flyhalf, they constantly tested the Sharks’ defence in the first half.

The hosts started the stronger of the two teams and Sanchez gave them a 3-0 lead with a penalty, but the Sharks would have felt they should have levelled the scores after 16 minutes but Robert du Preez, who has been so solid with his place-kicking this season, missed a penalty attempt from almost in front of the posts.

Fullback Curwin Bosch later missed a long range attempt, and they were both important misses as they came at a time when the Sharks were starting to stabilise after the Jaguares had enjoyed most of the early play and they could have done with the injection of energy that points on the board might have inspired.

They had to wait for Botha’s well worked try dovetailing with Dan du Preez off the back of an attacking lineout before eventually bothering the scorers, but by then Moyano had crossed for two tries, within four minutes of each other, to power the home team into a commanding lead.


Two skew lineout throws straight after halftime, where the Jaguares led 17-7, did not help the Sharks, but their improved linespeed on defence, their strength in the maul and the way they prevented the Jaguares from getting the ruck ball back with the same alacrity as the first half brought them back into the game.

Just as the Sharks were denied a try they came close to scoring, so were the Jaguares. Indeed, Williams had already awarded the score to lock Guido Petti but then decided to consult the TMO who ruled correctly that Guido was millimetres short and was guilty of making a double movement.

The Jaguares deserved to win as they were both the more decisive and incisive of the two teams. It was their first triumph against the Sharks and was enjoyed by what looked like easily the biggest crowd to watch them in a home game this season.


Jaguares 29 – Tries: Ramiro Moyano 3 and Baltista Delguy; Conversions: Nicholas Sanchez; Penalty: Nicholas Sanchez. Cell C Sharks 13 – Try: Ruan Botha; Conversion: Robert du Preez; Penalties: Robert du Preez 2.

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