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SPORTS | 29-04-2019 15:40

Jaguares hold out against Brumbies to complete hat-trick of wins

Victory lifted the Argentine outfit five places to sixth in the combined standings of the southern hemisphere club championship and to third in the South African conference. 

The Jaguares survived a yellow card and several late ACT Brumbies onslaughts to win 20-15 in Buenos Aires Saturday and complete a Super Rugby hat-trick.  

A deserved, hard-earned round 11 success at Estadio Jose Amalfitani came after they defeated the Northern Bulls and the Coastal Sharks on a tour of South Africa.  

Victory lifted the Argentine outfit five places to sixth in the combined standings of the southern hemisphere club championship and to third in the South African conference. 

The Australians also came into the match on the back of two victories over South African opposition, the Golden Lions and the Western Stormers.

They were in with a chance of winning right to the end of a match that contrasted sharply with the last between them in Buenos Aires -- a 39-15 triumph for the Brumbies two years ago.

It was tense affair in perfect conditions for rugby with never more than seven points between two evenly matched sides. 

The Jaguares turned around a seven-point deficit midway through the opening half to lead 17-15 at half-time.

There was only one addition to the score in the second half, a penalty slotted by Argentine fly-half Domingo Miotti on 62 minutes.

'Wonderful performance'

The Canberra outfit must have fancied their chances when the hosts were temporarily reduced to 14 men with the sin-binning of loose forward Marcos Kremer after 66 minutes.

Several times the visitors forced line-outs five metres from the Jaguares' tryline, but they could not force their way over.

Defeat keeps the Brumbies 12th overall and third in the Australian conference, four points behind the pacesetting Melbourne Rebels.

Both teams were guilty of handling errors at crucial moments, with the Argentines the slightly more frequent offenders.

But the home side were less prone to mistakes in the crucial closing stages, defending heroically to thwart the Brumbies.

"This was a wonderful performance by all our players -- the starting 15 and the replacements who came on in the second half," said Jaguares skipper Jeronimo de la Fuente.

"I believe we deserved the victory, particularly because of our bravery in defence when reduced to 14 men for 10 minutes in the closing stages."

Sebastian Cancelliere and Folau Fainga'a exchanged early tries before the impressive Tom Banks went over and Christian Lealiifano converted to give the Brumbies a 12-5 advantage.

Stung by conceding two tries within 20 minutes, the Jaguares scored two in just three minutes, first through Matias Orlando and then Agustin Creevy.

Miotti, who debuted in Super Rugby this month, converted one before an additional-time penalty from Lealiifano closed the first half scoring.  

For all the second-half endeavour from both sides, there was only one further score as Miotti slotted a penalty to compensate for two missed conversions.

- AFP

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