Los Jaguares finished their season in Australia on a high, downing the Melbourne Rebels this morning. The 32-29 win was the second from as many matches in Australia from the Argentine side. The team is to now return home and focus on international duty.
The victory was a come-from-behind fight. The Rebels held a 19-10 half time advantage and would also lead until well into the second half.
The opening points were scored by Wallabies utility Reece Hodge. Playing inside center for the Rebels he landed two early penalties to give his team a 6-0 lead. Nicolás Sánchez responded after 13 minutes to open Los Jaguares account.
Hodge made it 9-3 to end the opening quarter. His third penalty again saw Los Jaguares’ forwards caught out for being offside.
The Rebels no 12 then went from goal kicker to try scorer. A break from fullback Jack Maddocks caught Leonardo Senatore off-guard. Paddocks caught the covering defense before offloading to Hodge who had a simple run-in to score. With the conversion the Rebels led 16-3.
A response came from Santiago Cordero. The right winger scored down the blindside from a scrum. With Sánchez adding the conversion it was a 16-10 scoreline. The Rebels would score one final time in the opening half. Hodge’s forth penalty made it 19-10.
Los Jaguares started the second half strongly. Eight minutes in Sanchez landed a simple penalty. With it the scores were 19-13. Solid work in response came from Amanaki Mafi. Having won a penalty Hodge restored a nine point advantage for the home side.
An opportunistic score followed for Los Jaguares. In the 28th minute a sloppy Rebels pass was intercepted by Sánchez. He stepped his way down field before offloading off the deck to Guido Petti. The second-rower demonstrated how pace pace he has for his position to score. Sánchez added the conversion.
Six minutes later the Jaguares scored further points. With it they held the lead for the first time in the match. Replacement scrum-half Gonzalo Bertranou darted over. The lead was 25-22 but would have been higher had substitute, Juan Martín Hernández, landed the conversion.
Hernández quickly featured again. A well-aimed cross-kick gave the South Americans their fourth try. Crossing for the second time was Cordero. This time Hernández was successful with his conversion.
The Rebels responded to score from the final play of the match. A consolation try saw Steve Cummins touching down. Ben Meehan added the conversion to make it a two point game on full time.
Tries – R. Hodge, S. Cummins
Cons – R. Hodge, B. Meehan
Pens – R. Hodge 5
Tries – S. Cordero 2, G. Petti, G. Bertranou
Cons – N. Sánchez 2, J. Hernández
Pens – N. Sánchez 2
1 Toby Smith, 2 James Hanson, 3 Laurie Weeks, 4 Steve Cummins, 5 Lopeti Timani, 6 Sean McMahon, 7 Colby Fainga’a, 8 Amanaki Mafi, 9 Nic Stirzaker (capt.), 10 Jackson Garden-Bachop, 11 Marika Koroibete, 12 Reece Hodge, 13 Mitch Inman, 14 Tom English, 15 Jack Maddocks
Replacements: 16 Jordan Uelese, 17 Cruze Ah-Nau, 18 Fereti Sa’aga, 19 Esei Ha’angana, 20 Murray Douglas, 21 Ben Meehan, 22 Sione Tuipulotu, 23 Semisi Tupou
1 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 2 Agustín Creevy (capt.), 3 Enrique Pieretto, 4 Guido Petti, 5 Benjamín Macome, 6 Pablo Matera, 7 Rodrigo Báez, 8 Leonardo Senatore, 9 Martín Landajo, 10 Nicolás Sánchez, 11 Emiliano Boffelli, 12 Bautista Ezcurra, 13 Matías Moroni, 14 Santiago Cordero, 15 Joaquín Tuculet
Replacements: 16 Julián Montoya, 17 Lucas Noguera Paz, 18 Ramiro Herrera, 19 Ignacio Larrague, 20 Juan Cruz Guillemáin, 21 Gonzalo Bertranou, 22 Juan Martín Hernández, 23 Joaquín Díaz Bonilla