Argentina’s Jaguares began their life in Super Rugby by coming from behind to beat the Cheetahs 33-34 in Bloemfontein.
Eight tries were scored in the match – four each – but under the new rules bonus points are only awarded for scoring three more than the opponent so neither team qualified for the extra point.
The Jaguares got off on the wrongfoot at the start of the match as they lost two players – Nicolas Sanchez and Martin Landajo – to the sin bin for synical and foul play respectively.
While the Jaguares were reduced to 13 players Cheetahs capitalised on their advantage and scored two quick tries and took their lead out to 24-3.
The Jaguares fought their way back into the match when their players returned and by half time they were trailing by 7 points.
The Jaguares scored first in the second half when Rodrigo Baez went over and with Sanchez’s conversion the scores were level at 24 all.
Ten minutes into the half the Cheetahs ended their 25 minute points scoring drought with a penalty from Fred Zeilinga who had missed two shots earlier in the first half. Zeilinga added a second penalty five minutes later.
With 15 minutes remaining on the clock the Jaguares took the lead with a fantastic try when Martin Landajo scored his second try by splitting the Cheetahs defence.
Sanchez extended the Jagures lead with a drop goal giving the Argentina side a three point lead before Niel Marais slotted a penalty to cut the lead to a point.
The Jaguares were then able to hold on for the historic victory and will no doubt learn from their early errors and improve as the season progresses.
Final Score Cheetahs 33 (24) Jaguares 34 (17)
Tries – F.Venter, Penalty, T.van Jaarsveld, W.Small-Smith
Pen – F.Zeilinga 2, N.Marais
Con – F.Zeilinga 2
Tries -M.Landajo 2, A.Creevy, R. Baez,
Pen – N.Sanchez
Con -N.Sanchez 4
Cards – N.Sanchez (17th min yellow), M.Landajo (18th min yellow)
Referee: Stuart Berry
Assistant Ref 1:Rasta Rasivhenge
Assistant Ref 2:Lourens van der Merwe
TMO :Johan Greeff
15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Francois Venter (captain), 12 William Small-Smith, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Niell Jordaan, 7 Uzair Cassiem, 6 Boom Prinsloo, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Carl Wegner, 3 Maks van Dyk, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Charles Marais
Replacements: 16 Jacques du Toit, 17 Ox Nche, 18 Luan de Bruin, 19 Reniel Hugo, 20 Henco Venter, 21 Paul Schoeman, 22 Tian Meyer, 23 Niel Marais
1 . Lucas Noguera, 2. Agustin Creevy (c), 3. Ramiro Herrera, 4. Guido Petti, 5. Thomas Lavanini, 6. Pablo Matera, 7. Rodrigo Baez, 8. Leonardo Senatore, 9. Martin Landajo, 10. Nicolas Sanchez, 11. Emiliano Boffelli, 12. Jeronimo De la Fuente, 13. Matias Moroni, 14. Santiago Cordero, 15.Joaquin Tuculet.
Replacements : 16.Julian Montoya, 17. Santiago Garcia Botta, 18. Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 19. Matias Alemanno, 20. Facundo Isa, 21 Gonzalo Bertranou, 22. Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias, 23. Matias Orlando