Super Rugby 2019 Playoff Semi-Final: Jaguares vs Brumbies
Venue: Estadio Jose Amalfitani, Buenos Aires (ARG)
Date: Friday, 28 June 2019
The Jaguares have been the better team the last two times that they have faced the Brumbies, winning by five points on both occasions. That includes a 20-15 win at the Estadio Dose Amalfitani back at the end of April this year. The Brumbies, though, have tasted victory in Argentina as they picked up a huge 24-point win the very first time the two franchises met in South America.
The form for both of these teams over their last half a dozen games is simply perfect.
The Jaguares host the Brumbies after navigating probably the trickiest quarter-final tie of all when they met the bang in form Chiefs. It was a game that could have swung either way, but it was the home team that rode the power of their forwards to a 21-16 victory. The Jaguares also have the longest home winning streak in the competition (five games) and they have won 10 of their last 12 Super Rugby matches in Argentina.
The Brumbies will have to upset the apple cart to win here. The Jaguares have won five in a row against Australian teams, but it could be argued that the Brumbies were the only top-level Australian side in the comp this season. They have, though, won seven games on the bounce, with the last time they won more than that in a row being a stretch that included their 2004 Super Rugby trophy winning match.
The Brumbies 38-13 win over the Sharks in their quarter-final was impressive and dominant.
The Jaguares will be playing in their first-ever semi-final after they beat the Chiefs at this same venue last weekend. They would love to be able to keep the same starting side, but star lock Guido Petti is doubtful for the game because of an injury he picked up against the New Zealand side.
The 24-year-old second-rower will be given until Thursday to prove his fitness after he sprained his ankle in the contest. The Jaguares will also be boosted by the return to fitness of wing Ramiro Moyano who hasn’t played since early May and from the recovery from weekend injuries to Marcos Kremer and Enrique Pieretto.
The Brumbies have some serious back row issues as they travel almost 20-hours to face the South African Conference champions. Already without the poaching skills of David Pocock, the Canberra side suffered a massive blow when it was announced that two-time Super Rugby winner Pete Samu would also miss the clash in South America.
Samu was the best player on the park in the first half against the Sharks last weekend. He scored his first try less than a minute into the match and added a second later in the first half before he was unable to return to the game in the second stanza.
It is worth noting that Samu’s 56-second try was not unusual for the Brumbies this season. They have scored 42 tries in the first half of games this season compared to 27 by the Jaguares. This makes the Brumbies at 1.00 an interesting bet for the first try.
The Jaguares proved against the tricky Chiefs that they are no mugs on their own patch this season. The return of players with the World Cup approaching has given them a unique opportunity with a loaded team featuring depth at everything position. The dual losses of Pocock and Samu completely disrupts the Brumbies back row potency, with them not having the horses to win the ball or make big runs over the gain line. That is why the home side will win here with the Jaguares at 0.50 being the best bet with BetXChange.