Super Rugby

Crusaders outclass Jaguares




The Crusaders won a hard-fought battle against the Jaguares 14-26 at Estadio José Amalfitani in Buenos Aires.

George Bridge and Manasa Mataele both scored a brace as the 2017 Super Rugby champions romped to another convincing victory on road.

The Crusaders capitalised on turnovers to take a 19-point half-time lead, keeping the Jaguares scoreless.

Mitchell Hunt collected 15 points with a try and five conversions.

The damage was done in the first-half by the wing tandem of Bridge and Mataele in another commanding performance by the eight-time champions.

The Jaguares fought back after the interval with two well-worked tries from Joaquin Tuculet and Emiliano Boffelli, but it was not enough to claw back the deficit.

Hunt, Ryan Crotty and Mataele all crossed as the Crusaders cruised to a bonus-point win in South America.

First-half procession.

The game was all but done and dusted after the Kiwis raced into a three-score lead after some classical opportunism and skill.

The two combinations, coupled with Bridges 14-minute brace and Mataele’s 33rd-minute score effectively ended this game as a contest.

Bridge’s finishing was up there with the best of the Crusaders’ former wings.

The Jaguares’ ill-discipline – a constant theme since they joined the southern hemisphere’s premier rugby competition – was on display.

They had most of the play and opportunities in the opening exchanges but could not finish them.

Instead, they turned over possession in crucial areas and, often, inside the Crusaders’ half.

Bridge had his second after another turnover.

The winger scooped up a dropped ball by Bautista Delguy. The wing proceeded raced away to score under the sticks.

His partner was in for his first before the break.

Mataele busted through Nicolas Sanchez and Bertranou’s tackles after a smart first-phase lineout move to extend the Crusaders’ lead.

Jaguares came out fighting.

This game was going the way of all the Argentinians’ matches against New Zealand opposition.

But instead of folding, they hit back.

Soon after the break, Tuculet carried David Havili over the whitewash after throwing a dummy and sending the defenders in the wrong direction to make it 7-19.

Boffelli was over after a superb backline move and some wonderful passing, set up the score.

The crowd was hoping, more than sensing a comeback; their faith was not misplaced.

The joy was short-lived after Mataele ran over Sanchez and offloaded to the supporting Hunt, who scored under the posts.

The home team were still losing the battle of the breakdown and duly conceded again.

This time it was Crotty’s charge down that did for the South Americans.

Boffelli’s mistake, soon after the restart, gifted Mataele his second.

Mike Delany, taking over kicking duties from the accurate Hunt, made it a 40-burger.

Jaguares versus Crusaders video highlights.

Final score: Jaguares 14 (0) Crusaders 40 (19)


Tries – Tuculet, Boffelli
Pen –
Con – Sanchez (2)
Drop –
Cards –

Tries – Bridge (2), Mataele (2), Hunt, Crotty
Pen –
Con – Hunt (5), Delany
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen
Assistant Ref 1: Federico Anselmi
Assistant Ref 2: Pablo Deluca
TMO: Santiago Borsani



15 Joaquin Tuculet, 14 Bautista Delguy, 13 Matias Orlando, 12 Jeronimo De La Fuente, 11 Emiliano Boffelli, 10 Nicolas Sanchez, 9 Gonzalo Bertranou, 8 Javier Ortega Desio, 7 Marcos Kremer, 6 Pablo Matera (captain), 5 Tomas Lavanini, 4 Matias Alemanno, 3 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 2 Agustin Creevy, 1 Santiago Garcia Botta.

Replacements: 16 Julian Montoya, 17 Javier Manuel Diaz, 18 Juan Pablo Zeiss, 19 Guido Petti Pagadizaval, 20 Tomas Lezana, 21 Martin Landajo, 22 Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias, 23 Ramiro Moyano.


15 David Havili, 14 Manasa Mataele, 13 Tim Bateman, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 George Bridge, 10 Mitchell Hunt, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Tom Sanders, 5 Sam Whitelock (captain), 4 Luke Romano, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Tim Perry.

Replacements: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Donald Brighouse, 18 Chris King, 19 Quinten Strange, 20 Pete Samu, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Mike Delany, 23 Braydon Ennor.

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