Jaguares host the Sunwolves in Buenos Aires in Round 18 of Super Rugby in the early hours of Saturday morning and with top spot in the South African Conference already secure, the Argentine side can relax ahead of the play offs.
Jaguares v Sunwolves, Saturday 15th June, Buenos Aires, KO 00:10 (South African time)
Referee: Federico Anselmi
Assistant Refs: Nick Briant, Juan Pablo Federico
TMO: Marius Jonker
Weather Forecast – Buenos Aires
Jaguares put the Sharks away 34-7 in a home fixture last week, sealing top spot in the SA Conference in the process and home advantage in the quarter finals. They have pulled away from their rivals with 8 wins in their last 9 outings and they finished Round 17 with 10 points worth of daylight over their nearest rivals in this division.
Coming into the final round of the regular season Jaguares have an overall record of 10 wins and 5 defeats. In Buenos Aires they have won 5 and lost 2 with the Lions (25-16) in Round 1 and the Chiefs (30-27) in Round 7 the 2 sides to have won at this venue in the current campaign. Of those 5 home wins 2 have been accompanied by a bonus point.
In the outright betting markets Jaguares have been trading at around 9/1 to be crowned Super Rugby champions this season.
The Sunwolves lost 31-18 away to an injury hit Stormers side last week, an eighth straight defeat and they will finish the season rock bottom of the overall standings. The Sunwolves did stay within the minus handicap at Newlands which was some improvement after some terrible hidings in recent rounds which saw them fail to score a point on 2 occasions and they managed just 7 on another.
The Sunwolves overall record now comprises of 2 wins and 13 defeats and the victories both came overseas where they were given either side of 20 points start on the handicap. They turned the Chiefs over (30-15) in Hamilton in Round 3 and in Round 7 they shocked the Waratahs (31-29) in Newcastle.
The Sunwolves didn’t come up against Jaguares in 2018 but their sole visit to Buenos Aires 2 seasons back was easy on the eye even though they went down 46-39
Jaguares: 15 Joaquin Tuculet, 14 Sebastian Cancelliere, 13 Matías Orlando, 12 Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias (captain), 11 Santiago Carreras, 10 Domingo Miotti, 9 Felipe Ezcurra, 8 Rodrigro Bruni, 7 Juan Manuel Leguizamón, 6 Tomas Lezana, 5 Lucas Paulos, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Enrique Pieretto, 2 Julián Montoya, 1 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro
Substitutes: 16 Santiago Socino, 17 Juan Pablo Zeiss, 18 Santiago Medrano, 19 Marcos Kremer, 20 Francisco Gorrisen, 21 Tomas Cubelli, 22 Juan Cruz Mallia, 23 Matias Moroni
Sunwolves: 15 Semisi Masirewa, 14 Gerhard van den Heever, 13 Josh Timu, 12 Timothy Lafaele, 11 Hosea Saumaki, 10 Hayden Parker, 9 Jamie Booth, 8 Ben Gunter, 7 Shuhei Matsuhashi, 6 Ryota Hasegawa, 5 Tom Rowe, 4 Mark Abbott, 3 Conan O’Donnell, 2 Nathan Vella, 1 Masataka Mikami
Replacements: 16 Jaba Bregvadze, 17 Shogo Miura, 18 Takuma Asahara, 19 Yuya Odo, 20 Masakatsu Nishikawa, 21 Keisuke Uchida, 22 Takuya Yamasawa, 23 Jason Emery
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Recent Head to Head (any venue)
2017 Buenos Aires Jaguares 46-39 Sunwolves (Tries 7-5 )
2016 Tokyo Sunwolves 36-28 Jaguares (Tries 3-4)
Jaguares -21.5 points
Sunwolves +21.5 points
Note, odds quoted are available at the time of writing but are subject to change.
The Jaguares could not have asked for a softer final game to secure 2nd spot on the log and I have no doubt they will win without too much stress. The handicap is high though and I am of the view that they will come out firing in a bid to get the job done early and then perhaps step off the gas. I am backing them to lead by 11 or more at the break.
(Unit Scale 1 to 10)
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