Jaguares centre Matias Orlando touched down three times in a thumping Super Rugby win over the Sharks
Johannesburg (AFP) - Centre Matias Orlando scored a hat-trick as the Jaguares gave their finest Super Rugby display in four years of touring South Africa to stun the Sharks 51-17 Saturday.
The victory completed a wonderful tour for the Argentines, who came from 10 points behind last weekend to snatch a late victory over the Bulls in Pretoria.
Winning catapulted the Buenos Aires outfit six places up the combined table to seventh and raised hopes that they can match their performance of last season and make the play-offs.
Later, the Sharks surrendered the South African conference leadership and fell two places in the combined standings to fifth after the Bulls beat the Queensland Reds 32-17 in Pretoria.
Bulls fly-half Handre Pollard became the first player to pass the 100-point mark in the southern hemisphere franchise championship this season by contributing 12 points.
Scrum-half Tomas Cubelli scored the first of seven Jaguares tries after just three minutes and they led 21-10 by half-time at Kings Park in Indian Ocean port city Durban.
Man-of-the-match Pablo Matera scored his second try three minutes into the second half to stretch the lead and the match ended as a contest long before time.
“I think the whole team deserved the man-of-the-match award rather them me,” said the outstanding flanker.
“Defeating the Bulls and the Sharks at their stadiums for the first time makes this an amazing tour of South Africa for us.
“Everyone contributed to this victory, including our replacements, who made huge contributions when they came off the bench during the second half.”
Sharks skipper and scrum-half Louis Schreuder was furious with his side after beginning the match as favourites having trouncing the Lions by 37 points in Johannesburg last weekend.
“What a disappointing performance. We did everything wrong and nothing right. There were so many stupid mistakes by us that I lost count.
- Major concern -
“What went wrong? Well, when you concede 51 points in one match there has to be questions about the defence. We host the Reds next and hopefully we can put this match behind us.”
A major concern for the Durban side must be their home form with the Jaguares joining the Stormers and Bulls in winning at Kings Park this season.
Orlando (three), Matera (two), Cubelli and winger Matias Moroni scored tries for the Jaguares and fly-half Domingo Miotti kicked five conversions and two penalties.
Bulls' Jade Stighling (L) scores a try against the Reds
Lock Hyron Andrews and substitute back Aphelele Fassi scored Sharks’ tries, fly-half Robert du Preez kicked a conversion and a penalty and full-back Curwin Bosch slotted a conversion.
In Pretoria, Springbok Pollard lifted his season points tally to 108 followed by All Blacks utility back Damian McKenzie of the Waikato Chiefs with 81.
Pollard could have finished with a higher points tally against the Reds as he missed three of six kicks at goal in a match where the Bulls led 13-3 at half-time.
“I was happy to be back after resting last weekend and to be part of a great victory,” said Pollard. “We have a bye next weekend and, hopefully, that will not be a momentum breaker.”
Reds skipper and centre Samu Kerevi said: “We have many young players but must not use that as an excuse. We must man up. Hopefully, we will do better against the Sharks next Friday.”
Prop Lizo Gqoboka, flanker Marco van Staden, Pollard, flanker Hanro Liebenberg and winger Jade Stighling scored tries for the Bulls and Pollard kicked two conversions and a penalty.
Kerevi scored two tries for the Reds and fly-half Bryce Hegarty converted both and kicked a penalty.