The Jaguares ran five tries past the Sharks to win 34-7 and secure top spot in the South African conference for the 2019 Super Rugby season. The Durban side will leave Argentina empty-handed thanks to an error-strewn performance and failure to capitalise on whatever chances they did manage to create.
Down 12-0 at the break, the Sharks went on to lose 34-7. The Argentine side set the tone early on, with Sebastian Cancelliere scoring within three minutes. Emiliano Boffelli powered over the line in the 15th minute, after a build-up of carries.
Rush defence, needless knock-ons and scrum resets dominated a period of play as the game meandered to half time.
After the break, the Jaguares regathered. Early on, they settled for the three points with Diaz Bonilla extending the lead to 15-0 after Andre Esterhuizen was penalised for a late tackle.
In the 53rd minute, Boffelli crossed over the whitewash for his second try of the game, putting the unlikely comeback even further out of reach.
It took until the 67th minute for the Sharks to get any points on the board. It took some hard craft to get Esterhuizen over the line, but the South Africans eventually found some solace.
It was the Jaguares who had the final say though with Santiago Carreras’ grubber sealing the result and the South African conference.
The Jaguares will host the Sunwolves in the final round while the Sharks head to Cape Town.
Tries: Sebastian Cancelliere, Emiliano Boffelli (2), Sebastian Cancelliere and Santiago Carreras.
Cons: Joaquin Diaz Bonilla (3)
Pen: Joaquin Diaz Bonilla
Tries: Andre Esterhuizen
Con: Curwin Bosch
Jaguares: 15 Emiliano Boffelli, 14 Sebastian Cancelliere, 13 Matías Moroni, 12 Jeronimo de la Fuente (captain), 11 Santiago Carreras, 10 Joaquín Díaz Bonilla, 9 Tomás Cubelli, 8 Javier Ortega Desio, 7 Juan Manuel Leguizamón, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Tomás Lavanini, 4 Marcos Kremer, 3 Santiago Medrano, 2 Agustín Creevy, 1 Mayco Vivas.
Replacements: 16 Julián Montoya, 17 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 18 Enrique Pieretto, 19 Lucas Paulos, 20 Francisco Gorrisen, 21 Felipe Ezcurra, 22 Domingo Miotti, 23 Matias Orlando.
Sharks: 15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Sibusiso Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Louis Schreuder (captain), 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Tyler Paul, 6 Jacques Vermeulen, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Hyron Andrews, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Mzamo Majola.
Replacements: 16 Craig Burden, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Thomas du Toit, 19 Ruben van Heerden, 20 Luke Stringer, 21 Zee Mkhabela, 22 Jeremy Ward, 23 Aphelele Fassi.
Referee: Nick Briant (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Federico Anselmi (Argentina), Damian Schneider (Argentina)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)