The Jaguares have continued their unbeaten streak on Australian soil, defeating the Waratahs 23-15 at Bankwest Stadium. The Argentinian side controlled possession throughout the first half, racing out to a 13-3 lead. However, the Waratahs fought back thanks to strong performances from their bench, especially Curtis Rona to bring them within two points.
However, the Jaguares showed their class to control the last ten minutes, kicking two penalty goals to secure the win and reinforce their lead in the South African Conference. As for the Waratahs, a lack of execution and creativity in key moments has now meant that their finals campaign starts three weeks earlier than it should, needing to be perfect to have any shot at the top 8.
The first 20 minutes of the match saw both sides fight for territory, with the most noteworthy incident coming with the injury to Karmichael Hunt in the first 5 minutes, who has appeared to damaged his MCL.
The first half was dominated by the Jaguares and they were rewarded with first points after Jeronimo De La Fuente put a pinpoint grubber through for Ramiro Moyano to score, putting them ahead 7-0.
The Jaguares looked to extend their lead immediately after the kickoff, however, Lalakai Foketi snatched a clutch intercept on the goal-line to prevent the Argentinians from going further ahead.
The Waratahs were starved of possession within the Jaguares half throughout the first half, having just 29% in the first half. They would make use of their chances at the back end of the half, with Bernard Foley slotting a penalty at the 35-minute mark to keep the side in touch down 7-3.
However, Foketi would gift the Jaguares an easy penalty goal, showing a lack of effort in failing to get back onside, with Miotti slotting the penalty from right in front to make the score 10-3 Jaguares at half time.
The Jaguares got off to the ideal start in the 2nd half, with Moyano crossing for his second after taking advantage of some poor defence from the Waratahs backs, particular Kurtley Beale. Miotti would convert from the sideline to extend the lead out to 17-3.
After this try, the Waratahs decision to inject fresh legs seemed to work a treat, with Curtis Rona bursting through, pulled down just before the line, earning a penalty. The Waratahs forwards took full advantage of this opportunity, muscling over from the rolling maul for a penalty try, along with a yellow card to Pablo Matera.
The Waratahs would appear to have evened the score up, however, on review Foketi was deemed to have gone into touch in the build-up phases.
However, they would not be denied shortly after, with replacement Curtis Rona rewarded for his strong efforts to cross in the corner. Foley would strike the upright with the conversion to maintain the Jaguares lead 17-15 after 65 minutes.
The Jaguares would extend their lead after a suspiciously long advantage with replacement Joaquin Diaz Bonilla making no mistake to extend to lead out to 20-15.
They would control the play from this point onwards, kicking another penalty goal to secure a 23-15 victory and the top of the South African conference.
The Turning Point
The penalty in the 71st minutes killed off any momentum and potential Waratahs comeback, allowing the Jaguares to control the play and secure the victory.
The GAGR MOTM
Ramiro Moyano burnt the Waratahs backline when he had the ball in hand, recording the only tries for the Jaguares, along with 7 tackle busts and four linebreaks.
Curtis Rona, Michael Hooper and Ned Hanigan were amongst the best for the Waratahs. However, there were let down by a lack of creativity and execution from their key playmakers in Bernard Foley and Kurtley Beale which resulted in another loss. Concerns for Karmichael Hunt and Cam Clark who limped off with injuries
Tries: Moyano 2 (25′, 47′)
Cons: Miotti 2/2 (26′, 48′)
Pens: Miotti 1/1 (38′), Diaz Bonilla 2/2 (71′, 80′)
Yellow Card: Pablo Matera- collapsing the maul on the goal-line (53′)
Tries: Penalty Try (53′), Rona (64′)
Cons: Foley 0/1
Pens: Foley 1/1 (35′)