Jaguares bare teeth to shock the Rebels
THREE second-half tries inspired the Jaguares to a comefrom-behind 25-22 victory at the Rebels.
It appeared the hosts would strengthen their position at the Australian Conference summit when they moved into a 19-6 lead with half an hour to play, but the Jaguares stormed back to move off the foot of the South African Conference.
“We didn’t have the start that we wanted but I think in the second half we really wanted to get the win,” Jaguares captain Pablo Matera said.
The boot of Nicolas Sanchez drew first blood for the visitors but they found themselves 14-3 down at the interval, Billy Meakes scoring the first try following Will Genia’s break before Marika Koroibete crossed from Dane Haylett-Petty’s offload.
Sanchez slotted a second penalty after half-time but the lead was stretched to 13 when Haylett-Petty touched down.
The momentum soon shifted, however, as Sebastian Cancelliere went over to reduce the deficit and when the hosts’ Tetera Faulkner was sin-binned for cynical play the Jaguares capitalised as Ramiro Moyano held off three defenders to score.
Sanchez slotted the extras to leave the Jaguares trailing by one, which became four as Jack Debreczeni knocked over a kick, but the Argentinian outfit were not to be denied as Leonardo Senatore charged down Michael Ruru’s kick and fed Bautista Ezcurra to score.
With full-time showing on the clock, the Rebels were awarded a penalty which, if kicked, would have ensured they would draw the match and stay on top of the Australian conference.
But they chose to go for a try and after being sacked at a maul and lost possession which allowed the Jaguares to clear to touch.
Rebels captain Adam Coleman said he fully supported the collective decision to give up the certainty of a draw for the faint possibility of a win.
“We’re not here for a draw. All or nothing,” Coleman said.
Fly-half Beauden Barrett put in a sparkling all-round display as the
Hurricanes moved to the top of the New Zealand Conference with a 25-13 victory over the Chiefs.
Barrett scored one try with a fine solo effort and set up another for centre Ngani Laumape.
In-form wing Ben Lam had opened the scoring for the Hurricanes, who took a 10-6 half-time lead, while the Chiefs’ lone score came from flank Lachlan Boshier.
Barrett’s brilliance just after half-time saw the Hurricanes streak ahead in the contest and they were able to comfortably hold on in the final 20 minutes.
They took over at the top of their conference from the Crusaders, who have a bye this weekend.
The Brumbies capitulated in the final quarter to lose an otherwise harda fought match 43-17 to the Highlanders.
Well in the hunt through 60 minutes, the Australian side conceded three tries in quick succession to notch a fourth loss in seven matches.
All Blacks full-back Ben Smith was the star man, scoring two of the Highlanders' six tries.
While it was a 34th successive win for a Kiwi team over Australian opposition, the Highlanders were given scare for long periods.
The Brumbies boasted a superior scrum and were very effective at the breakdown, particularly through flanker David Pocock.
Lima Sopoaga and Smith scored the Highlanders' first-half tries and their lead was pushed out to 15-10 through a Sopoaga penalty just after the break.
But winger Waisake Naholo raced 80m to score from an interception and sweeping tries by Smith, Shannon Frizell and Fletcher Smith took the winning margin out to equal the biggest the Highlanders have registered against the Brumbies.
Defeat for the Rebels afforded the Waratahs the chance to replace them atop the Conference table and they took full advantage with a 37-16 victory over the Reds.
Taqele Naiyaravoro went over twice in the second half, including an interception score, and the bonus point was secured after the clock had gone red as Harry Johnson-Holmes claimed his first try for the club, Bernard Foley adding the extras to finish with 17 points in an impressive display.
Winger Filipo Daugunu scored the Reds only try.
Winger Jordan Hyland scored a brace as the Blues ensured that the Sunwolves remain winless in this season’s competition with a 24-10 victory in Tokyo.
The Japanese side, who defeated the Blues last season in their only previous encounter, led 10-5 at half-time thanks to Timothy Lafaele’s converted try and a Yu Tamura penalty prior to Hyland’s breakaway effort for the Blues.
However, weak tackling from the hosts after the break allowed the Blues to surge 19-10 ahead with tries from Akira Ioane and replacement Dalton Papalii. Hyland added his second of the day in the dying minutes.
The Bulls moved up to third in the South African conference with a 40-10 victory over the Sharks.
Warrick Gelant scored a hat-trick, his second in as many games against the men from Durban.
Masterclass: Beauden Barrett starred for Hurricanes
Joy: Bautista Ezcurra celebrates his try for the Jaguares