The Jaguares beat the Brumbies 39-7, booking a historic first Super Rugby final after a dominant and impressive semi-final display at Estadio Jose Amalfitani, Buenos Aires.
Los Jaguares’ victory, played in front of a bumper 31,000 plus crowd, secures a first Super Rugby final in the franchise’s four-year history.
Matias Orlando grabbed a brace and an assist, while Joaquin Diaz Bonilla kicked 14 points as Gonzalo Quesada’s charges romped to their first grand final.
Tomas Cubelli, Tomas Lavanini and Emiliano Boffelli also crossed for the Argentinians as the South Americans handed the Australians their biggest ever semi-final defeat.
Strong, suffocating defending by the Jaguares kept the Aussies to just seven points.
They also shut them out in the second stanza after Folau Fainga’a’s try on the stroke of halftime.
The Jaguares will wait on the result of the Crusaders and Hurricanes in the second semi-final to see if they will travel to Christchurch or host the showpiece event, next weekend.
Los Jaguares race into a commanding lead, scoring twice in the first quarter
The Jaguares started strong, capitalising on the Brumbies’ error-strewn lineout to shoot out to a 20-0 lead after 21 minutes.
Former Brumbies scrumhalf Cubelli opened the scoring in the fourth-minute to get things underway.
Diaz Bonilla kicked two penalties to extend his side’s lead before Lavanini crashed over from close range.
Dan McKellar’s men were ragged; they coughed up possession, leaked penalties, winning their first in the 22-minute.
Their lineout was a disaster as Fainga’a’s wayward throwing cost his team territory and possession.
The hooker gave away five throws to the home team inside 24 minutes, which is not good enough at any level.
The South Americans kept coming; they bossed the breakdown as well as the scrums.
Brumbies strike before the break after fighting back in the second quarter
The visitors finally won a scrum penalty, allowing them to clear down the field.
Joe Powell’s midfield break, supported by Tevita Kuridrani’s run into the opposition’s 22, set up the tourists first score on the stroke of halftime.
Fainga’a, who had been terrible, crashed over for his 12th Super Rugby try of the season, equalling the Lions’ Malcolm Marx’s try-scoring record for a hooker in a campaign.
Christian Leali’ifano added the extras from in front to make it a two-score game.
Some more errors after the interval led to Orlando’s score.
Lealiifano’s poor grubber was gathered by Matias Moroni, who raced 60 metres before floating a pass to his outside centre to reopen the 20-point advantage.
The Brumbies had no answers, succumbing meekly.
Their opponents continued to control possession and they did not make many handling mistakes.
Orlando dotted down again bouncing off several defenders before sending Boffelli away for the coup de grâce.
Leali’ifano, taking necessary risks, tried a little chip-kick inside his 22.
The ball was lost, the Jaguares gained possession and sent it wide to Orlando.
He drew the defenders before who playing the fullback in for the score.
Domingo Mitooi missed from wide, but the conversion attempt was inconsequential as his team celebrate a glorious night.
Final Score: Jaguares 39 (20) Brumbies 7 (7)
Tries – Cubelli, Lavanini, Orlando (2), Boffelli
Pen – Diaz Bonilla (2)
Con – Diaz Bonilla (4)
Tries – Fainga’a
Con – Leali’ifano
Referee: Mike Fraser
Assistant Ref 1: Glen Jackson
Assistant Ref 2: Federico Anselmi
TMO: Santiago Borsani
15 Emiliano Boffelli, 14 Sebastián Cancelliere, 13 Matias Orlando, 12 Jeronimo de la Fuente (captain), 11 Matias Moroni, 10 Joaquin Diaz Bonilla, 9 Tomas Cubelli, 8 Javier Ortega Desio, 7 Tomas Lezana, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Tomas Lavanini, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Santiago Medrano, 2 Agustin Creevy, 1 Mayco Vivas.
Replacements: 16 Julian Montoya, 17 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 18 Enrique Pieretto, 19 Marcos Kremer, 20 Francisco Gorrissen, 21 Felipe Ezcurra, 21 Domingo Miotti, 22 Ramiro Moyano.
15 Tom Banks, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Irae Simone, 11 Toni Pulu, 10 Christian Lealiifano (captain), 9 Joe Powell, 8 Lachlan Mccaffrey, 7 Tom Cusack, 6 Rob Valetini, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Folau Fainga’a, 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Connal Mcinerney, 17 James Slipper, 18 Leslie Leuluaialii-Makin, 19 Darcy Swain, 20 Murray Douglas, 21 Jahrome Brown, 22 Matt Lucas, 23 Tom Wright.