The Brumbies have made it two from two on their magical mystery southern hemisphere tour after a 39-15 win over the Jaguares in Buenos Aires.
It was a game where the forwards featured heavily but it was the Brumbies backs that shone brightly as they scored five of their six tries with Tom Banks and replacement back Andrew Muirhead securing doubles.
The haul of nine competition points on tour has come at a crucial time as they have all but sewn up the Aussie conference.
The week off looked to have served the Jagaures well as they used their forwards to good effect in the opening minutes. They had the Brumbies defence scrambling as they used offloads to open up the line but settled for an early penalty goal to Nicolas Sanchez after three minutes.
In contrast, the Brumbies forwards had their fair share of the ball after that score but they couldn’t find any gaps in the Jagaures defensive line with a lot of side-to-side play.
A series of penalties in the Brumbies favour got them deep into the Jagaures half and they used their rolling maul from close range to open their scoring with the try awarded to Sam Carter following a look from the TMO. Hawera’s conversion gave them a 7-3 lead after 15 minutes.
The Jaguares got their hands back on the ball and got a lucky break after a kick through was re-gathered by Joe Powell but his pass back infield was unable to be controlled by Tom Banks only five metres out. The weight of numbers was too much as Tomas Lavanini crashed over from close range as the Jagaures regained the lead at 10-7.
The Brumbies had a few chances to extend their lead with some breaks in midfield but weren’t able to execute with players unable to link up or the scrambling Jagaures defence. They finally did hit back after Tom Banks hit the gas to run through a gap and score his second try in as many weeks following a scrum.
They didn’t need to wait much longer to score again as Banks had his second in as many minutes after Jaguares winger Bautista Ezcurra dropped a kick and Chris Alcock kicked ahead and was gathered by Banks right on the line to make it 17-10.
The Brumbies had two good chances before the half time break to add to their score and instead of taking the shots at goal, they opted for set piece play but their execution let them down to let the Jaguares off the hook.
There were a few instances during the game where some decision making from the Brumbies needed to be better with unnecessary grubber kick attempts and pushed passes creeping into their play.
Just on half time, the Brumbies kicked a penalty goal to take a 20-10 lead on the back of a yellow card to Agustin Creevy.
The second half started with the Brumbies on the attack but, again, their execution was lacking. Aidan Toua made a few breaks but was unable to find support on one occasion and a dropped ball ruined another chance.
The game descended into a scrum fest as the handling started to become an issue for both sides but the Brumbies ended that sequence with their fourth try of the game to Henry Speight with man of the match Tom Banks providing the last pass.
With ten minutes to go, the Brumbies wrapped up the game with a try to replacement back Andrew Muirhead following a grubber kick from Hawera, only the second of about ten that worked in the game. Muirhead was only on a training contract and made the tour after strong games for Royals in the local Canberra rugby competition and he added a second try for good measure not long after as he rolled over and stretched out to score.
The Jaguares had one last score in them with Guido Petti rolling over a maul in the dying minutes to make the final score 39-15.
The Game Changer
No moment really stood out but the pressure from the Brumbies in the second half was too much for the Jagaures as they added three tries in the half
The G&GR MOTM
Tom Banks – A try scoring double on the back of last weeks display. Also provided the last pass for Speight’s try and even could have had a third
A big night for the forwards with Sam Carter and Scott Fardy getting amongst it and causing problems for the Jaguares. Tevita Kuridrani and Henry Speight found decent space when they got their hands on the ball. As a smoky for the upcoming Test series with a few props out injured, Ben Alexander had a good game in his 142nd Super Rugby game
Score & Scorers
Tries: Carter, Banks 2, Speight, Murihead 2
Conversions: Hawera 3
Tries: Lavanini, Petti
40 min – Creevy (Jaguares) – Yellow