Super Rugby Preview: Jaguares v Blues

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Friday, March 1, 2019    Lynn McConnell    Getty Images

Match Details: Jaguares v Blues, Buenos Aires, 10.40am, Sunday, March 3, 2018 (NZT)

Played: 2
Won: Jaguares 1, Blues 1
Last time: Jaguares 13-20 Blues, Eden Park, Auckland, April 28, 2018
Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge


The Jaguares started out with a disappointing first loss to the Lions on South American soil when beaten 16-25 in the opening round but rebounded to down a confident Bulls side 26-7 in wet conditions in Buenos Aires in the second round. The Blues, after a strong showing in going down 22-24 to the Crusaders in the opening round suffered a poor 26-7 loss to the Sharks in Durban.


The Jaguares will be without skipper Jeronimo de la Fuente with Matia Moroni replacing him while Matias Orlando at second five-eighths will play as captain. Joaquin Tuculet has been replaced at fullback by Juan Cruz Mallia. Coach Gonzalo Quesada said the choice of Orlando and Moroni was down to the combination they had been able to achieve when paired in the first two games. He explained that the decision to have Tuculet on the bench was because he had been asked to do a lot in the first two game. "He played from the start against the Lions and Bulls after a long injury. When Boffelli was not there, we demanded a bit more and now we give Juanchi [Mallia] the chance, he showed some good signs in the preseason and played well against the Bulls," he said. They'll also be helped by the news that hooker Agustin Creevy has signed with the side until 2021.


Being mindful of, but not dominated by, the Jaguares game plan would be vital for the Blues as they attempt to employ their own game in order to achieve much-needed success. The word out of the Blues camp was that they became too concerned with how the Sharks would play last week at the expense of their own game. They are determined not to make the same mistake twice. Playing in Buenos Aires and the unique demands that has on visiting teams will be a test for the side as it is their first visit. The home team will also be confident having lowered the Blues colours on the road last year.


The Jaguares have won four of their last five home games, but this will be the first time the Blues have played in Buenos Aires.


The Blues have lost their last three away games. They've not lost more games on the road since their 10-game losing streak between 2014-2016.


Jaguares: 1.Mayco Vivas, 2.Agustin Creevy, 3.Santiago Medrano, 4.Guido Petti, 5.Tomas Lavanini, 6.Pablo Matera, 7.Marcos Kremer, 8.Javier Ortega Desio, 9.Tomas Cubelli, 10.Joaquin Diaz Bonilla, 11.Ramiro Moyano, 12.Matias Orlando (captain), 13.Matias Moroni, 14.Bautista Delguy, 15.Juan Cruz Mallia.

Substitutes: 16.Julian Montoya, 17.Juan Pablo Zeiss, 18.Enrique Pieretto, 19.Matias Alemanno, 20.Rodrigo Bruni, 21.Martin Landajo, 22.Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias, 23.Joaquin Tuculet.

Blues: 1.Alex Hodgman, 2.James Parsons, 3.Ofa Tuungafasi, 4.Patrick Tuipulotu (captain), 5.Josh Goodhue, 6.Tom Robinson, 7.Dalton Papalii, 8.Akira Ioane, 9.Augustine Pulu, 10.Otere Black, 11.Rieko Ioane, 12.Ma'a Nonu, 13.TJ Faiane, 14.Tanielu Tele'a, 15.Melani Nanai.

Substitutes: 16.Matt Moulds, 17.Karl Tu'inukuafe, 18.Sione Mafileo, 19.Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 20.Matt Matich, 21.Jonathan Ruru, 22.Harry Plummer, 23.Sonny Bill Williams.