BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - The Jaguares claimed their third consecutive win and put themselves back in the Super Rugby playoffs hunt with a bruising 20-15 victory over the ACT Brumbies at Velez Sarsfield on Saturday.
The teams exchanged tries inside the first six minutes with wing Sebastian Cancelliere touching down for the home side and the Brumbies getting a quick reply from hooker Folau Fainga’a.
Fullback Tom Banks put the Australian side ahead midway through the first half with a well-worked try in the corner with flyhalf Christian Lealiifano converting.
The scores were level again after half an hour, Jaguares centre Matias Orlando working his way over before the try was awarded following some deliberation with the video referee and flyhalf Domingo Miotti converting.
The Jaguares then seized the momentum and Cancelliere forced his way through a clutch of defenders and reached the Brumbies line where Agustin Creevy went over from a ruck.
Miotti missed the conversion however, and when Lealiifano kicked a penalty after the hooter the Jaguares’ lead was just two points, 17-15, at halftime.
The only points of a bad-tempered second half, which saw some scuffles break out, came from a Miotti penalty after the hour mark that put the Jaguares ahead by five points.
The hosts were then reduced to 14 men when flanker Marcos Kremer was yellow carded for a foul when the Brumbies were pressuring for a try close to the home line.
However, the Australian side were unable to make their extra man count in the face of some strong home defending and the Jaguares held on for the win to move up to third in the South African conference.
The Brumbies, third in the Australian conference, return home to face the Blues while the Jaguares have another match at Velez next weekend against the Stormers.
Australia prop Scott Sio, a 47th minute replacement for James Slipper, said errors hurt the Brumbies.
“We made mistakes at critical times in the game and unfortunately we couldn’t hold onto the ball when we needed to and they defended really well,” Sio said.
“They’re very hard at the breakdown. I think we conceded a lot of turnovers.
“We’ve got to work on our attacking breakdown next week coming up against another team who are very hard on the ball, the Blues, back at home.”
Editing by Peter Rutherford