Super Rugby Preview: Jaguares v Reds - Green and Gold Rugby
Queensland Reds

Super Rugby Preview: Jaguares v Reds

Super Rugby Preview: Jaguares v Reds

Queensland have arrived in Buenos Aires on the final leg of a horror opening three rounds of travel, looking to get more out of their play-cation, than just a couple of bonus points.  The Jaguares, on the other hand, have enjoyed the company of their loved ones, the comfort of their own beds, and the advantage of their home stadium since Super Rugby launch a few weeks ago. As such comparing respective records at this time is like comparing apples with oranges.

Well except that they have both played the Lions with different results.  The Jags kick started the season with a 30 point plus victory over the touring South Africans while the Reds went down by a converted try in Johannesburg last week.

Does that have any relevance to what we will see this weekend? Let’s try to break that down a little.

Teams

The Reds have mixed things up let again and are struggling to get any real combinations going, particularly in the backline.  The forward pack has been beefed up with Lukhan Salakai-Loto moving to blindside, allowing Angus Blyth to start again, alongside Izack Rodda.  Jordan Petaia is out with injury (shoulder) allowing Hunter Paisami a well-deserved first start, while Bryce Hegarty has been benched with Jock Campbell moving to fullback and Chris Feauai-Sautia making a rare start on the wing.

The Jaguares welcome back some big guns, in particular Agustin Creevy up front and Bautista Delguy outwide.  But do they need more big guns? Twelve of their starting side played for the Pumas in last year’s World Cup, with another five from the bench.  That’s nuts against a side that is the youngest in the competition (not that the Reds have used that as an excuse, just us in the ‘media’).

Felipe Ezcurra

Felipe Ezcurra on the snipe


Key matchups

Set Piece:

This one is a bit hackneyed isn’t it? It’s the area the Reds fans are clinging to at the moment with the scrum firing and the lineout looking pretty damn good as well. On the flipside, any team that is from Argentina is going to have a focus on their set piece.  The stats show that the Reds scrum is performing much better than the Jags, but it’s such a small sample that it can’t be significant.  Still, leaving all other aspects of the match aside, it’s going to be a cracking battle to watch.

Emiliano Boffelli v Chris Feauai-Sautia

Boffelli is the stats leader in Super Rugby this year with twice as many clean breaks as the next best on the ladder.  He’s clearly a focal point of his team’s attack, making plenty of carries, but with his strike power, what wouldn’t he be? CFS, meanwhile, is back in the Reds starting team for the first time this year.  Outside of Tate McDermott, he’s probably the Reds’ main strike weapon albeit one that consistently misfires. If he’s even half off his game defensively, then Boffelli and his mates will run ragged.

Domingo Miotti v James O’Connor.

The Reds have stuck with JOC at 10, despite his performance last week being fairly similar in output to Isaac Lucas the week before.  It’s likely the performance of Hamish Stewart that has saved JOC’s spot this week, with Stewart being one of the Red’s best against the Lions. I think it’s fair to say that the Reds backline (missing Daugunu, Petaia and Hegarty) looks a little middling.  If they are to create anything against the Jags, it will come down to O’Connor to spark it.  Meanwhile Miotti is creating all sorts of action for his outside backs, leading the competition in ‘assists’ (both line break and assists).

Prediction

The Reds will be doing exceptionally to keep this game as close as their previous two losses were.  The Jags have been the standout attackers so far in the competition, while the defence is pretty damn first class as well. Neither has been firing for the Reds.  Jaguares by 12.

Jock Campbell

Jock Campbell gets a shot at fullback this week


TEAMS

Jaguares

1. Mayco Vivas
2. Agustin Creevy
3. Lucio Sordoni
4. Guido Petti
5. Lucas Paulos
6. Tomas Lezana
7. Marcos Kremer
8. Rodrigo Buni
9. Felipe Ezcurra
10. Domingo Miotti
11. Emiliano Boffelli
12. Jeronimo De La Fuente ©
13. Matias Moroni
14. Bautista Delguy
15. Santiago Carreras

16. Julian Montoya
17. Javier Diaz
18. Joel Sclavi
19. Matias Alemanno
20. Javier Ortega Deiso
21. Tomas Cubelli
22. Tomas Albornoz
23. Juan Cruz Mallia

Reds

1. JP Smith
2. Alex Mafi
3. Taniela Tupou
4. Izack Rodda
5. Angus Blyth
6. Lukhan Salakaia-Loto
7. Liam Wright ©
8. Harry Wilson
9. Tate McDermott
10. James O’Connor
11. Henry Speight
12. Hamish Stewart
13. Hunter Paisami
14. Chris Feauai-Sautia
15. Jock Campbell

16. Sean Farrell
17. Dane Zander
18. Josh Nasser
19. Harry Hockings
20. Angus Scott-Young
21. Moses Sorovi
22. Isaac Lucas
23. Bryce Hegarty

MATCH DEETS

Date: Sunday 16 February
Venue: Jose Amalfitani Stadium, Buenos Aires
Kick-Off: 9:00 Qld
Referee: Federico Anselmi
Assistant Ref 1:Pablo Deluca
Assistant Ref 2: Martin Cordoba
TMO :Santiago Borsani

  • I actually think the Reds are a chance here. If everything goes right.

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      I think if it remains a forward battle they will but Thorn’s tinkering with the backline isn’t doing the Teds any favours. Not sure what he sees in JOC at 10 but it wasn’t on display last week

  • Reds Revival

    I am keen to see how the centre pairing goes with Stewart and Paisami. With Petaia out, I think that Paisami could be a really good find (without the extra pressure of enormous expectations on Jordan, that seemed to be weighing him down). It was almost as if Jordan was trying too hard to make things happen.
    I saw a criticism of Thorns selection of such a big back row, but it may actually work to Thorn’s advantage naming his side first if the Jaguares try to name a bigger pack in an effort to match them. It will force them out of their more mobile forward game plan. If they don’t, then Thorn may be forced to sub ASY on earlier than anticipated.

  • idiot savant

    Thanks Reg. Travel fatigue, altitude fatigue, big slow pack, very inexperienced, Argie ref, Argie home advantage. If the Reds can lose by less than 20 they will have done alright.

    You’re right about Stewart. How could he be dropped after last week. Amazing when you consider it was his first ever super rugby game at 12. Id like to see him stay alive more this week and not enter as many rucks. The Reds will need distribution skills in traffic if they are to score enough tries to stay in the contest.

Queensland Reds
@RugbyReg

The original prop in a prop's body, but thankfully I have the rugby mind of a prop as well.

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