The Stormers beat the Jaguares 28-20 at Newlands in Cape Town, repelling a second-half surge by the South Americans to open their 2018 Super Rugby account.
Damian Willemse’s last-gasp penalty denied the South Americans a losing bonus-point.
Tries from Siya Kolisi, Damian de Allende and Raymond Rhule, saw the Stormers race into an early 22-6 second-half lead.
However, the Jaguares clawed their way back into the match.
Some excellent handling and offloading led to Emiliano Boffelli scoring his team’s first try.
As the game went on, the Jaguares’ scrum started to dominate. This led to a penalty try for the visitors with 12 minutes remaining and a five-point difference.
Somehow, the #Stormers held on, despite being under the cosh with 14 men, before Willemse sealed the deal.
Mbongeni Mbonambi withdrew from the matchday squad, with Ramone Samuels starting and Dean Muir playing off the bench.
Mbonambi suffered a burst appendix and underwent emergency surgery on Friday.
The late change had an effect on the Stormers’ lineout, with Samuels missing his jumpers, gifting the ball to the visitors.
The game was littered with handling errors, both sides losing the ball in scoring positions.
Nicolás Sánchez opened the scoring with an early penalty before De Allende scored the tournament’s opening try in the 19th-minute.
The Bok centre ran a great line, beating four defenders to score under the posts.
De Allende took Dillyn Leyds’ pass, stepped inside Bautista Ezcurra and Tomás Lezana before slipping Agustín Creevy and Gonzalo Bertranou’s tackles.
Boffelli reduced the deficit to one with a long-range penalty to make it 7-6.
The Stormers started finding space on the outside channels.
Seabela Senatla was causing the visitors all manner of problems, but the Cape side could not finish off the promising moves.
Joaquin Tuculet was sin-binned for a professional foul and Willemse kicked the resulting penalty.
The pressure finally told when skipper Kolisi crashed over the whitewash after running over Ezcurra.
Willemse’s conversion was charged down, but the lead was nine points.
The Jaguares were playing fast and loose, costing them possession. There was no structure to there game and many offloads were going to ground or forward.
With half-time approaching, Sánchez kicked to the corner and the Jaguares set-up a maul near the Stormers goal-line.
The South Americans looked likely to score, but Nahuel Tétaz Chaparro had the ball stripped by John Schickerling.
It was a huge moment in the context of the game because immediately after the break, Rhule finished off a superb Stormers attack.
The move started inside the home team’s 22. Nizaam Carr found space and sent the winger away.
Rhule still had work to do, but the flyer sold a dummy, shrugged off Bertranou and raced away to score.
Willemse added the extras and the game looked to be heading for a blow-out.
The Jaguares, to their credit, did not fold. Instead, they hit back with Boffelli’s 46th-minute try.
The winger broke Leyds’ weak tackle, handed off De Allende and ran in for the score. Sánchez’s conversion made it 22-13.
Another Willemse penalty extended the lead to 12.
Samuels was sent to the bin for multiple infringements in the red-zone. The resulting scrum was a disaster.
The Jaguares bulldozed their opponents and referee Jaco Peyper awarded the penalty-try, which made it a five-point ball-game going into the final 10 minutes.
With seconds remaining. Leyds burst through a gap, taking the ball into Jaguares territory.
An off-the-ball shove on Willemse by Bautista Delguy, saw the home side awarded a penalty.
Willemse stepped up and slotted the kick, denying the Argentines a losing bonus-point.
Final score: Stormers 28 (15) Jaguares 20 (6)
Tries – De Allende, Kolisi, Rhule
Pen – Willemse (3)
Con – Willemse (2)
Cards – Samuels (Yellow, 65′)
Tries – Boffelli, Penalty try
Pen – Sánchez, Boffelli
Con – Sánchez
Cards – Tuculet (Yellow, 27′)
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant Ref 1: Marius van der Westhuizen
Assistant Ref 2: Egon Seconds
TMO: Christie du Preez
Stormers: 15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 Seabelo Senatla, 13 EW Viljoen, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Cobus Wiese, 6 Siyamthanda Kolisi (captain), 5 John Schickerling, 4 Chris van Zyl, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Ramone Samuels, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Dean Muir, 17 Jacobus Janse van Rensburg, 18 Carlu Sadie, 19 Jan de Klerk, 20 Kobus van Dyk, 21 Justin Phillips, 22 George Whitehead, 23 Johannes Engelbrecht.
Jaguares: 15 Joaquin Tuculet, 14 Ramiro Moyano, 13 Matías Orlando, 12 Bautista Ezcurra, 11 Emiliano Boffelli, 10 Nicolás Sánchez, 9 Gonzalo Bertranou, 8 Tomás Lezana, 7 Javier Ortega Desio, 6 Pablo Matera (captain), 5 Tomás Lavanini, 4 Matías Alemanno, 3 Nahuel Tétaz Chaparro, 2 Agustín Creevy, 1 Felipe Arregui.
Replacements: 16 Julian Montoya, 17 Javier Manuel Diaz, 18 Juan Pablo Zeiss, 19 Guido Petti Pagadizaval, 20 Marcos Kremer, 21 Martin Landajo, 22 Juan Martin Hernandez, 23 Bautista Delguy