Super Rugby: Jaguares dent Bulls' play-off ambitions
Last Updated: 03/07/16 10:50am
Skipper Agustin Creevy scored two tries as the Jaguares outplayed the Bulls 29-11 in a muddy Estadio Jose Amalfitani.
The hooker struck from unstoppable driving mauls after lineouts as the hosts adapted much better to the difficult conditions in the round-15 match in Buenos Aires.
Fly-half Nicolas Sanchez kicked four penalties and converted a try from flanker Pablo Matera as the Jaguares achieved a third victory in 13 outings during their first Super Rugby season.
Jaguares host defending champions Otago Highlanders of New Zealand next Saturday and overall Super Rugby leaders Golden Lions of South Africa a week later in the final league round.
Three-time former champions the Bulls, who needed a win to have a realistic chance of pipping compatriots the Sharks for a quarter-finals place, were a huge disappointment.
They lacked skipper and hooker Adriaan Strauss, rested after leading South Africa to a 2-1 series victory over Ireland last weekend, as well as several injured forwards. But overall the Bulls lacked commitment until the closing stages, when it was too late.
Fly-half Francois Brummer slotted two penalties from four attempts at goal while scrum-half Piet van Zyl made a positive impact when he come off the bench and scored the visitors' lone try by taking a quick tap penalty and wriggling his way past several Jaguares.
His score on 60 minutes trimmed the deficit to 23-11, but failed to ignite a Bulls comeback. Instead, leading 2015 Rugby World Cup points scorer Sanchez added two more penalties.
Brummer and Sanchez exchanged early penalties before Matera dotted down beside the post after winger Santiago Cordero evaded several tackles. Sanchez converted for a seven-point lead that stretched to 12 when Creevy got his first try.
Another Brummer penalty left the South Africans trailing 15-6 at half-time.
Jaguares camped in the Bulls' half for the first 20 minutes of the second half and were rewarded with a Sanchez penalty and another Creevy try.
Defeat left the South Africans three points behind the Sharks in the race for the third and final place in the knock-out phase from the two African conferences.
They have a tougher run-in than the Sharks, who finish with two home fixtures while the Bulls are away in the final round.