The Jaguares upset the Hurricanes, handing them a 20-28 defeat at Westpac Stadium, Wellington.
The win took the Jaguares to the top of the South African Conference and second on the Super Rugby table after a commanding away performance in the Land of the Long White Cloud.
The Jaguares handed the Hurricanes an unlikely first loss at home against non-New Zealand opposition since 2015 with a dominant four-try display.
It was only the third time these two sides had met in Super Rugby with the Jaguares losing twice, and by large margins.
Gonzalo Quesada’s side neutralised their opponent’s attack shorn of playmaker extraordinaire Beauden Barrett.
Barrett’s absence was crucial in the final standing because the Canes were abysmal with the ball in hand and even worse with the boot.
Handling mistakes ran through the matchday squad, and the lineouts were a disaster as they turned over possession, time and time again.
The tourists’ defence was immense, their attack, clinical; it’s not often the much-vaunted Wellington attack is blunted and outscored in five-pointers.
It was only the Hurricanes‘ fifth loss in 40 home games, all have been against sides from outside New Zealand.
Hurricanes start strong, scoring inside the opening minute
The game got off to the best possible start for the Hurricanes when Vaea Fifita chased and scored from Ngani Laumape’s grubber after 49 seconds.
Some fancy footwork from Jordie Barrett, in the build-up, set things in motion, but Barrett missed his conversion attempt.
The Jaguares, keeping the Canes out, scored with their first attack. They had been on the back-foot for 15 minutes before they struck.
Isaia Walker-Leawere, caught offsides, led to a penalty.
Joaquin Diaz Bonilla kicked for the corner, instead of taking the points.
It turned out to be an inspired call from skipper Jeronimo de la Fuente.
Super Rugby Video Highlights: Hurricanes versus Jaguares, Round 14, Westpac Stadium, Wellington
A good lineout drive ended after eight phases when Barrett slapped the ball out of the in-goal area with Matias Moroni about to dot down after chasing a Diaz Bonilla grubber.
You cannot deliberately knock the ball out of play in the in-goal area.
After a TMO review, referee Brendon Pickerill sent the fullback to the naughty step
A Penalty try was awarded, despite some protestations from the home team about the rules.
TJ Perenar’s mistake trying to collect the bouncing ball, but missing, did not help, either.
Barrett could have no complaints.
John Plumtree’s side game management was superb while down to 14 men, they kept the Jaguares scoreless while Barrett was in the bin.
Double blow gives visitors the upper-hand
They went close a couple of times, but poor handling and good defending at the breakdown by the visitors kept them out.
Barrett’s exit resulted in a try and his entrance, too. Laumape’s infringement led to a lineout inside his team’s 22.
Another well-worked rolling maul from the South American’s pack paid dividends.
They maul wheeled to the left after the first drive, resulting in the tourist’s second try when Agustin Creevy flopped over the whitewash.
Diaz Bonilla added the extras.
Barrett reduced the deficit with a 29th-minute penalty, but there would be more joy for the visitors.
It came from Jeronimo de la Fuente’s break and a lineout steal by Javier Ortego Desio after Asafo Aumua’s wayward throw.
The skipper crashed over next to the posts after some quick recycling near the goal-line. The home side was shellshocked, trailing by 13 at the break.
Plumtree’s side did have a chance, on the stroke of halftime, but they could not execute a driving maul, instead, losing possession.
Jaguares hold off sloppy Hurricanes
Laumape finished off his side’s first sustained attack of the second half, fending off Moroni and Tomás Lavanini to dot down in the corner.
Ben Lam’s strong run set the attack in motion.
The Hurricanes recycled the ball, Aumua charged forward, and Perenara sent the centre away.
Barrett, not the most reliable from the tee, missed from the touchline.
The second half was riddled with mistakes.
Both teams’ kicking from hand was poor, missed touch-finders from penalties and kicks that ran too long were as consistent as Aumua’s lineout throwing.
The hooker’s throwing was atrocious; he turned over several lineouts, one which led to De la Fuente’s try in the first half, and a couple that killed attacking position’s inside the opposition’s 22.
The killer blow
Julian Montoya crashed over from close range after a 60-metre counter-attack.
Ramiro Moyano broke into the 22 and Moroni took the tackle; the ball was quickly recycled.
The Argentinian forwards regrouped and went to work, using the pick-and-goes, which set-up Montoya to score.
Diaz Bonilla had the ball on a string, slotting the conversion.
Kane Le’aupepe scored in added time, but it was scant consolation because the Hurricanes finished without as much as a bonus-point.
Final Score: Hurricanes 20 (8) Jaguares 28 (21)
Tries – Fifita, Laumape, Le’aupepe
Con – J. Barrett
Cards – J. Barrett (Yellow, 15′)
Tries – Penalty try, Creevy, De la Fuente, Montoya
Con – Diaz Bonilla (3)
Referee: Brendon Pickerill
Assistant Ref 1: Mike Fraser
Assistant Ref 2: Paul Williams
TMO: Aaron Paterson
15 Jordie Barrett , 14 Wes Goosen, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Ben Lam, 10 James Marshall, 9 TJ Perenara (c), 8 Ardie Savea, 7 Du’Plessis Kirifi, 6 Vaea Fifita, 5 Isaia Walker-Leawere, 4 James Blackwell, 3 Jeff To’omaga-Allen, 2 Asafo Aumua, 1 Toby Smith
Replacements: 16 Ricky Riccitelli, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Ross Geldenhuys, 19 Kane Le’aupepe, 20 Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, 21 Finlay Christie, 22 Fletcher Smith, 23 Salesi Rayasi
15 Emiliano Boffelli, 14 Sebastien Cancelliere, 13 Matias Moroni, 12 Jeronimo de la Fuente (c), 11 Ramiro Moyano, 10 Joaquin Diaz Bonilla, 9 Tomas Cubelli, 8 Javier Ortego Desio, 7 Juan Manuel Leguizamon, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Tomás Lavanini, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Enrique Pieretto, 2 Agustin Creevy, 1 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro
Replacements: 16 Julian Montoya, 17 Mayco Vivas, 18 Santiago Medrano, 19 Lucas Paulos, 20 Marcos Kremer, 21 Felipe Ezcurra, 22 Domingo Miotti, 23 Matias Orlando