The weekend of woe for Australian teams continued with the Brumbies falling to the Jaguares 25-20 in Canberra. It was three tries apiece, but the kicking and cool head of Nico Sanchez behind a dominant pack lead the visitors to a second win on Australian soil in as many weeks.
It was the Jagaures forwards who laid the platform and outplayed the Brumbies in the opening 30 minutes and then held on at the back end of the match even after being down to 14 men early in the second half.
The Jaguares game plan seemed pretty obvious to use their big forwards and even though the Brumbies knew it was coming, after 18 phases they had the first try after just four minutes to centre Matais Orlando.
The Brumbies barely fired a shot in the opening 15 minutes and when they did finally gain possession, it was turned over by either a handling error or kicked away.
Back-to-back penalties to Nico Sanchez had the Jaguares up 13-0 as the penalty count and missed tackles started to rack up against the Brumbies. They seemed rattled as even David Pocock copped a backchat penalty from Angus Gardner for arguing one penalty with the frustration setting in as they waged a running battle throughout the game.
On the 30-minute mark, the Brumbies finally had an attacking chance but it looked like it would be one of those games as they failed to execute two good chances from five metres out.
It would be third time lucky just minutes later as Tom Banks scored his first try of the half with a simple backline move to get back into the game.
It was Banks again five minutes later as he collected a grubber kick from Hawera for his second to make it 13-10 at half time.
Early in the second half the Jaguares went down to 14 men after winger Emiliano Boffelli copped a yellow card for a nasty tackle in the air on Henry Speight.
The Brumbies weren’t able to take advantage and almost went further behind was the Jaguares ran it out from their own end and were saved from the retreating Kyle Godwin who collected the ball right on his own line.
But the pressure was too much to hold out for the Brumbies and after a few scrums five metres out, Jeronimo de la Fuente had space on the left wing for an easy try. Sanchez’s conversion made it a ten-point game at 20-10.
With 15 minutes remaining and the substitutes starting the get involved, the Brumbies edged closer with a try to Chance Peni after a big rolling maul from the forwards in the lead up. Hawera’s conversion made it a three-point game.
But that work was all undone as Boffelli redeemed himself from his earlier yellow card by scoring out wide with the Brumbies defence in all sorts to allow him a simple run to the line for an important eight point margin with less than ten to go.
The Brumbies launched one last chance but left their run too late with the Jaguares defence able to withstand the Brumbies attack deep in their own half and hold on for 25-20 win with a late Hawera penalty after the siren ensuring a losing bonus point .
The Game Changer
The Brumbies failing to score with Jaguares down to 14 men in the second half whilst conceding in the same period.
The G&GR MOTM
Nico Sanchez – The wily flyhalf led the Jaguares backline around behind a strong pack.
Tough game with Michael Cheika watching on with the Wallaby forwards having a torrid time against a big Jaguares pack. David Pocock went off late with a slight limp and Scott Sio and Allan Alaalatoa will be sore in the morning.
Score & Scorers
Tries: Banks 2, Peni
Tries: Orlando, de la Fuente, Boffelli
Conversions: Sanchez 2
Penalties: Sanchez 2
47 mins – Emiliano Boffelli (Jaguares) – Yellow