Semi-final preview: Brumbies v. Jaguares - Green and Gold Rugby
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Semi-final preview: Brumbies v. Jaguares

Semi-final preview: Brumbies v. Jaguares

The Brumbies have lobbed in Buenos Aires for the second time in 2019 with a lot more on the line this time – a spot in Super Rugby final and there would be no better way to mark Christian Lealiifano’s 150th match for the Brumbies.

With both sides having already played each other this season, there will be few surprises from either side in the way they play and it could come down to who blinks first in getting a winner. In the regular season game two months ago, it was a combination of the Jaguares taking their chances with an early try and their defence plus some poor execution by the Brumbies at the backend that got the home side the win.

Both sides are in hot form with the Brumbies winning their last seven in a row and nine of the last ten. The only blemish in that run came against the Jaguares back in round 10 where they came up just short in a five-point loss. On the other side of the coin, the Jaguares have won six in a row and ten of the last eleven.

The Brumbies blew the Sharks out of the water in the opening half last week and will need to continue that form where they lead the try-scoring stats in the opening quarter of the game with 20 but they will have their work cut out against a side that has conceded the second least in the comp.

The key to the Brumbies in recent weeks has been their defensive efforts and they will need to rely on that yet again against a side that came from behind to knock off the Chiefs last week.

When you look at the majority of the stats across both sides, there is little difference so executing those key areas will be crucial in gaining victory. One area the Brumbies could target is the scrum of the Jaguares who run last in scrum success compared to their opponents second ranking.

Given the Brumbies have kicked only four penalties all season, the Jaguares will know what is coming if they falter in that area up against what should be an all Wallaby front row trio of Sio, Fainga’a and Alaalatoa, who has impressed in 2019.

The Jaguares centre pairing of Jeronimo de la Fuente and Matias Orlando will be key in getting the ball to the wider channels where the pace of Sebastian Cancelliere will be tough to stop if his display back in round 10 is anything to go by.

The Brumbies go into this game with one injury enforced change with Pete Samu ruled out with a hamstring strain but the backrow that keeps serving them so well in 2019, sees Lachlan McCaffrey slot in with a seamless transition. They’ve gone with a six/two bench split with Murray Douglas coming in to the match day 23.

The hosts have also made just the one change from last week’s win with the change in the backrow with Tomas Lezana in for Marcos Kremer with just one player in the 23 not having Test experience under their belt which will make the task for the Brumbies a little harder.

Key match up

Rory Arnold v. Guido Petti

Arnold has been in hot form lately and has been showing his array of skills across the park, including two try assists last week. When he’s not throwing inside passes for tries, he’s monstering the maul and making it hard for opposition to launch their attack. Guido Petti leads the comp in lineout takes and has taken 11 steals so his presence at set piece will be crucial.


There’s a spot in the final on the line and it’s going to be a cracker. The Brumbies overseas finals form has been reasonable with big wins in 2013 against the Bulls in Pretoria to get them to the final and the Stormers in Cape Town two years later. The Jaguares are in new territory with their maiden semi-finals appearance so it will be interesting to see if they can get it done in front of what will no doubt be a raucous crowd. I’m hoping they won’t and the Brumbies head back across the Pacific to either Canberra or Christchurch with a six-point win.



1 Scott Sio
2 Folau Fainga’a
3 Allan Alaalatoa
4 Rory Arnold
5 Sam Carter
6 Rob Valetini
7 Tom Cusack
8 Lachlan McCaffrey
9 Joe Powell
10 Christian Lealiifano
11 Toni Pulu
12 Irae Simone
13 Tevita Kuridrani
14 Henry Speight
15 Tom Banks

16 Connal McInerney
17 James Slipper
18 Leslie Leulua’ialii-Makin
19 Darcy Swain
20 Murray Douglas
21 Jahrome Brown
22 Matt Lucas
23 Tom Wright


1 Mayco Vivas
2 Agustin Creevy
3 Santiago Medrano
4 Guido Petti
5 Tomas Lavanini
6 Pablo Matera
7 Tomas Lezana
8 Javier Ortega Desio
9 Tomas Cubelli
10 Joaquin Diaz Bonilla
11 Matias Moroni
12 Jeronimo de la Fuente
13 Matias Orlando
14 Sebastian Cancelliere
15 Emiliano Boffelli

16 Julian Montoya
17 Nahuel Tetaz Chapparro
18 Enrique Pieretto
19 Marcos Kremer
20 Francisco Gorrissen
21 Felipe Ezcurra
22 Domingo Miotti
23 Ramiro Moyano


Kick off: 9:05am AEST
Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Saturday 29 June
Referee: Mike Fraser
AR1: Glen Jackson
AR2: Federico Anselmi
TMO: Santiago Borsani

  • Steve

    I haven’t been this excited for a rugby match in a long time – You just know both sides are going to bring it.

    For the first time in living memory the Brumbies are playing consistently well, potent in attack and strong in defence.

    I look forward to seeing what this group of players can do before Shaun Berne and Nathan Grey make them look like total numpties later in the year.

    • OnTheBurst

      Agree. Should be a cracker. The most exciting thing to behold with the Brums is a) an Aussie team playing total football, and b) doing it consistently week to week. More power to them!

  • Keith Butler

    The Chiefs put the Jaguares pack under a lot of pressure last week especially at scrum time. If the Brumbies can do the same they might well take this one – hope they do. However, the Jags defence was outstanding and they have an excellent back line. It will be close. As an aside Warren Gatland will be taking over at the Chiefs in 2020. A 4 year contract with a year off while he looks after the Lions.

  • Missing Link

    Breakfast Rugby! C’mon Brumbies!

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks Steve, a good write up and this game will be huge. I agree it will be close and the Brumbies defence needs to be spot on. I think the Jags will teat them wide and the Brumbies will need to adapt as recently their defence has been mainly challenged in closer to the play. I think if the Jags get up it’ll be the travel factor and home support that’ll be the key differences whereas if the Brumbies get up it’ll be the defensive effort. I think this could go either way but like you picking the Brums by six.

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