SEMIFINAL PREVIEW: Jaguares v Brumbies
Thursday, June 27, 2019 allblacks.com Getty Images
Won: Jaguares 2, Brumbies 1
Last time: Jaguares 20, Brumbies 15 (27 April 2019)
The Jaguares have hit some hot form in Super Rugby with 11 wins from their last 10 matches. Their last loss came all the way back in round 13 against the Highlanders in a close-run affair. Last week the Jaguares were spurred on by their home crowd to a 21-16 win over the Chiefs after trailing 7-16 at one point. The Brumbies are on a seven-match winning streak and saved their most impressive performance for the quarterfinal win over the Sharks last week. The Brumbies ran in five tries in the 38-13 victory, but the most impressive aspect of the win was their defence. Despite conceding 73% of possession in the second half, the Brumbies defence only yielded one try against a desperate Sharks side.
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The match-up between pivots Joaquin Diaz Bonilla and Christain Lealiifano could be decisive in this clash. Both players are tactically astute and superb game generals. While Lealiifano offers the ability to take the ball to the line and offload in the tackle, Diaz Bonilla is a touch player who can set up his outside backs through pinpoint cross kicks or deft passes. With a tight-encounter expected, this match could be decided by goal kicking. There’s very little to separate the teams in that area with the Brumbies kicking at 75% and the Jaguares 73%.
It has become a bit of a cliché over recent years that Jaguares scrum is one of their biggest weapons. But the Brumbies head to Argentina with a scrum success rate of 95% compared to the Jaguares at 86%. Last week the Chiefs put real pressure on the Jaguares scrum and the Brumbies will be looking to repeat the dose this week. The teams are evenly matched at line out time with the Brumbies securing 90% of their ball compared to the Jaguares at 91%. Guido Petti Pagadizaval has been particularly dominant with an impressive 81 lineout takes - more than any other player in Super Rugby.
The Jaguares have won their last five games against Australian opposition, however, four of those games were decided by a single- digit margin.
Travel could be a deciding factor in this clash. The Brumbies have had to back up from a physical quarterfinal against the Sharks by jumping on a 17-hour flight to Buenos Aires. The Jaguares have been based at home since round 17 and are largely unscathed on the injury front. But time-zones and jet lag won’t be the only thing the Brumbies have to battle. The atmosphere will be red-hot at Jose Amalfitani Stadium with the Jaguares boisterous and passionate fans sure to turn the stadium into a cauldron for the visiting Brumbies.
Jaguares: 15: Emiliano Boffelli, 14: Sebastian Cancelliere, 13: Matias Orlando 12: Jeronimo De La Fuente (C) 11: Matias Moroni, 10: Joaquin Diaz Bonilla 9: Tomas Cubelli 8: Javier Ortega Desio 7: Tomas Lezana 6: Pablo Matera 5: Tomas Lavanini 4: Guido Petti 3: Santiago Medrano, 2: Agustin Creevy 1: Mayco Vivas
Reserves: Julian Montoya, Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, Enrique Pieretto, Marcos Kremer, Francisco Gorrissen, Felipe Ezcurra, Domingo Miotti, Ramiro Moyano
Brumbies: 15: Tom Banks, 14: Henry Speight 13: Tevita Kuridrani, 12: Irae Simone, 11: Toni Pulu, 10: Christian Lealiifano, 9: Joe Powell 8: Lachlan McCaffrey 7: Tom Cusack, 6: Rob Valenti 5: Sam Carter 4: Rory Arnold, 3: Allan Alaalatoa 2: Folau Fainga’a 1: Scott Sio
?? HISTORY will be made when the Jaguares and Brumbies clash in the first ever semifinal played on Argentinian soil. Who are you picking to make the final?
?Saturday, 11.05am (NZT)
?? @SkySportNZ pic.twitter.com/xpCA9NpT2w— Super Rugby (@SuperRugbyNZ) June 26, 2019
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