Jaguares hit back to pip Sunwolves in Super Rugby try fest
Buenos Aires (AFP)
Jaguares of Argentina snapped a four-match losing streak with a come-from-behind 46-39 victory over Sunwolves of Japan Saturday in a Super Rugby try fest.
The hosts turned a 39-27 deficit 14 minutes from time into a seven-point victory thanks to tries from Matias Alemanno, Agustin Creevy and Matias Moroni.
Jaguares scored seven tries and Sunwolves five at Estadio Jose Amalfitani in a lively conclusion to round 11 of the regular season.
Victory left the hosts with a slim chance of making the quarter-finals -- they trail Coastal Sharks of South Africa by eight points with five games to play.
Sunwolves are playing for pride having won just one of 10 matches, but running Jaguares close in their first visit to Buenos Aires confirmed recent improvement.
They arrived in Argentina after finishing a three-match tour of New Zealand with an encouragingly narrow 27-20 loss to twice champions Waikato Chiefs.
"It was not our best performance this season, but we are very happy to have finished so strongly," said Jaguares No.8 and try scorer Leonardo Senatore.
"A win is a win and securing four points is most welcome for us after losing four matches in a row, including one at home.
"We play in Buenos Aires again next weekend, against the Western Force, and Australian teams are very fast, so our preparations must take that into account."
Sunwolves' Samoa-born centre Timothy Lafaele said: "Crucial mistakes in the closing stages cost us the match.
"The Jaguares also managed to slow play down at times which did not suit our style of play.
"We have a bye next weekend before playing the Sharks and that gives us time to analyse this match and learn from our mistakes."
A Will Tupou try in the second minute gave Sunwolves the perfect start and they led 25-22 after a first half which ended with lock Sam Wykes being yellow-carded.
Jaguares failed to score against 14 men and appeared in trouble when a Wykes try converted by fly-half Yu Tamura gave the Tokyo-based side a 12-point advantage.
But the power and direct approach of the Argentine pack told in the closing stages with two of the three tries coming from forwards while replacement back Moroni claimed the decisive score.
Senatore, Emiliano Boffelli, skipper Creevy (2), Alemanno and Moroni scored tries for the Jaguares and they were awarded a penalty try, which is worth seven points in Super Rugby.
Veteran playmaker Juan Martin Hernandez, who had a rare off-day in general play, kicked two conversions and a penalty and Joaquin Diaz Bonelli one conversion.
Tupou, Shota Emi, Tamura (2) and Wykes were Sunwolves' try scorers while Tamura slotted four conversions and two penalties to finish with a 24-point haul.
© 2017 AFP