The Brumbies have the difficult task to travel to Argentina and get pass the inform Jaguares to play either the Crusaders in New Zealand or the Hurricanes at home.
Although the Brumbies had been a team that improved the most from last season they will be going into this match as the underdogs.
It is going to be a battle between the Brumbies strength in their forwards against the quality of the Jaguares backs.
People that write of the Brumbies because they believe they are one dimensional has a surprise coming this weekend. Super Rugby semi-finals and finals are as close as you can get to test match rugby and doing the simple things 100% wins you games.
If the Brumbies control the ball and force their game plan on the Jaguares they will come out the winners.
What makes this even more an interesting matchup is the fact that the Brumbies have shown in the last couple of weeks that they can score tries from set pieces, broken play and turnover possession.
The first thing they will have to overcome will be the Argentinian passion that the Jaguares will bring into the game. Add the passionate one-sided crowd to that and you are against the wall for at least the first ten minutes of the game.
My feeling is if the Brumbies can stay in touch in the first twenty minutes on the scoreboard or even have a lead they will be able to to take the win.
If they let the passion of the Jaguares build scoreboard pressure they may be in for a hammering.
We have quality in both side and a little more so in the Jaguares side who are all playing not just to reach the final for the first time but also a spot on the plane for Japan.
The bookies will tell you it will be a Crusaders v Jaguares final next week but in 80 minutes in both games anything can happen.
The Jaguares is like the Crusaders a well balanced team that have develop the ability to play what is in front of them. What has been impressive this year was the fact that they do not seem to panic when they are behind on the scoreboard.
They have a quality bench as well which has been the reason many teams struggled against them this year.
It will take a massive effort from the Brumbies to upset the apple cart here but it is possible.
The miracle that is Christian Lealiifano will run out on Saturday morning in his 150th time for the Brumbies. He will be a key to winning and loosing for the Aussie side as well.
Lachlan McCaffrey is the only changes to the starting XV for this weekend clash coming in for Pete Samu who is injured.
For us South Africans it is an early Saturday morning clash but one that you can definitely stay up for because it is gong to be a great game of rugga’s.
Some Interesting Facts (OPTA)
- The Jaguares have won their last two Super Rugby games on the bounce against the Brumbies, each by a margin of exactly five points.
- The spoils are split one win apiece between the Jaguares and Brumbies when playing in Argentina in Super Rugby; the Brumbies picked up a 24-point win in their first ever meeting in the country.
- The Jaguares have won 10 of their last 12 Super Rugby games on the bounce in Argentina (L2), including their last five on the bounce – their longest home winning streak in the competition.
- The Jaguares have won their last five games on the bounce against Australian opposition; however, four of those five wins were decided by a single-digit margin.
- The Brumbies have won their last seven Super Rugby games on the bounce; the last time they won more was an eight-game stretch across the 2004 and 2005 campaigns which included lifting the Super Rugby trophy in the 2004 season.
- The Brumbies have won only two of their previous seven post-season games away from home in Super Rugby (L5), with both of those wins coming in South Africa (vs Bulls in 2013, vs Stormers in 2015).
- The Jaguares have made 26 kicks in play per game in Super Rugby 2019, more than any other team in the competition and eight per game more than the Brumbies.
- The Brumbies have scored 42 first-half tries in Super Rugby 2019, more than any other team in the competition and 15 more than the Jaguares (27).
- The Jaguares’ Guido Petti Pagadizaval (81) has won more lineouts (inc. steals) than any other player in Super Rugby 2019; however, Brumbies duo Rory Arnold (78) and Sam Carter (69) are ranked second and third respectively.
- Thomas Banks (Brumbies) has scored seven tries in his last eight Super Rugby games outside Australia, including one in each of his last three such fixtures.
Prediction: There is maybe an upset on the cards here but the brain is saying Jaguares by 13 at least.
Jaguares: 15 Emiliano Boffelli, 14 Sebastian Cancelliere, 13 Matias Orlando, 12 Jeronimo De La Fuente (c), 11 Matias Moroni, 10 Joaquin Diaz Bonilla, 9 Tomas Cubelli, 8 Javier Ortega Desio, 7 Tomas Lezana, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Tomas Lavanini, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Santiago Medrano, 2 Agustin Creevy, 1 Mayco Vivas.
Replacements: 16 Julian Montoya, 17 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 18 Enrique Pieretto, 19 Marcos Kremer, 20 Francisco Gorrissen, 21 Felipe Ezcurra, 22 Domingo Miotti, 23 Santiago Carreras.
Brumbies – 15 Tom Banks, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Irae Simone, 11 Toni Pulu, 10 Christian Leali’ifano, 9 Joe Powell, 8 Lachlan McCaffrey, 7 Tom Cusack, 6 Rob Valetini, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Folau Fainga’a, 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Connal McInerney, 17 James Slipper, 18 Leslie Leuluaialii-Makin, 19 Darcy Swain, 20 Murray Douglas, 21 Jahrome Brown, 22 Matt Lucas, 23 Tom Wright.