Jaguares 39-7 Brumbies: Matias Orlando helps Argentines reach historic first Super Rugby final
Last Updated: 29/06/19 11:18am
Matias Orlando's two tries helped the Jaguares make more history as they powered into the Super Rugby final with a 39-7 win over the Brumbies.
The Argentine side made a blistering start to the semi-final in Buenos Aires, scoring two tries to lead 20-0 after 19 minutes, then subdued an attempted rally by the Canberra-based Brumbies, who scored their only try just before half-time.
Centre Orlando crossed twice to help the Jaguares inflict the Australian side's heaviest-ever loss in a play-off match. Fly-half Joacquin Diaz Bonilla maintained a perfect goal-kicking record as well, landing six from six.
Each step the Jaguares have taken in the past few weeks has made history for the franchise, which is strongly based around the Argentina national team. They won the South African conference for the first time, compiled their best-ever regular season record of 11-5, strung together a record home winning streak of five matches and produced a 4-0 winning record against Australian teams.
In doing so they reached the quarter-finals for the second time and were able to host a play-off match for the first time. By winning that match against New Zealand's Chiefs, they brought a semi-final to the Jose Amalfitani Stadium in Buenos Aires for the first time.
The season has been a triumph for coach Gonzalo Quesado too in his first season in charge, having taken over from Daniel Hourcade.
If there was one chink in their armour in the semis it was their scrum, which was sometimes under pressure. But their lineout was dominant as they won all of their own ball and took five lineouts from Brumbies' throws.
The hosts denied the Brumbies possession for much of the first 30 minutes, building a commanding position which their opponents were unable to break down. Defensive pressure also forced the Brumbies into frequent handling errors.
A defensive mix-up in the fourth minute, when the Brumbies kicked a ball back towards their own line, gave away an early try to Tomas Cubelli and a 7-0 lead to the Jaguares.
Second row Tomas Lavanini drove over in the 19th minute, lifting the Jaguares to 20 points clear before the Brumbies tried to fight back.
The visitors created a try from a line-out to hooker Folau Fainga'a, but Orlando scored twice in the second half and full-back Emiliano Boffelli added the final try two minutes from full-time.
Two tries came from misplaced chip kicks by Brumbies fly-half and captain Christian Leali'ifano, who played his 150th and final match for the team he leaves after 12 seasons to play in Japan next year.