It is a massive weekend for the Chiefs who has traveled to Argentina to face the Jaguares early Saturday Morning (SA Time).
The Chiefs was down and out midway through the season but found a way to quietly get them into the quarter finals.
It has been some story when you look at where the Chiefs was when they lost Damien McKenzie for the rest of the season and could not buy a win.
As many teams do, the Chiefs has also have to contend with injuries of key players but have been able to come right just at the right moment of the season.
They always say in a competition like Super Rugby, you need to peak at the right time to be able to win the marathon that is Super Rugby.
They are also facing a side that have improved throughout the season and looks like a title contender themselves.
The Jaguares are the one team with the Crusaders that have the complete package and we always knew that they will eventually be one of the teams that would be favourites.
Securing a home quarter final and semi final just show the progress this team made this year. They have been brilliant at home and away from home able to win in South Africa, New Zealand and Australia.
This is going to be a massive clash between these two teams who are currently playing the best rugby in the tournament.
Both have a great pack and explosive backs that can score tries from anywhere on the field.
One of the aspects of the Jaguares game that improved massively this season have been there defence. They have been able to shutdown opposition attacks with brilliant rush defence making it difficult for teams to play from depth.
Another huge improvement from the Jaguares has been the discipline they showed this season. In the pass they threw games away when they where under pressure giving away a massive number of yellow cards. That has not happen this year.
Branding them as a complete team will be an understatement. The only aspect of their game that have come under pressure have been their scrums but it has not really influence their game that much.
The Chiefs will definitely focus on the set pieces to try and unsettle the home side but I do see a even contest in this aspect of the game.
For me the difference will come in the defensive effort the two put in on the day.
The Chiefs has made one change in their lineup with Tumua Manu coming in to start at inside centre.
Whoever wins this one, it will be worth your while to stay up for this match that will be live on SuperSport at 00:10 on Saturday morning.
Some Interesting Facts (OPTA)
- This will be the fourth meeting between the Jaguares and Chiefs in Super Rugby history, the away side on the day has been victorious in the first three encounters.
- The Chiefs have won only two Super Rugby finals matches outside of New Zealand in their history (L3), both against the Stormers (2016 and 2017).
- This will be the Jaguares’ second appearance in the Super Rugby finals series and first on home soil, having lost to the Lions in Johannesburg in 2018 (23-40).
- The Jaguares have scored 21 tries in the final quarter of matches in Super Rugby 2019, the most of any team and two more than the Chiefs in second place (19).
- Anton Lienert-Brown (Chiefs, 32) and Pablo Matera (Jaguares, 22) rank first and joint third respectively for offloads in Super Rugby this year.
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 Marcos Kremer, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Tomas Lavanini, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Santiago Medrano, 2 Agustin Creevy, 1 Mayco Vivas.
Replacement: 16 Julian Montoya, 17 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 18 Enrique Pieretto, 19 Tomas Lezana, 20 Francisco Gorrissen, 21 Felipe Ezcurra, 22 Domingo Miotti, 23 Santiago Carreras.
Chiefs: 15 Solomon Alaimano, 14 Shaun Stevenson, 13 Tumua Manu, 12 Anton Lienert-Brown, 11 Sean Wainui, 10 Jack Debreczeni, 9 Brad Weber, 8 Pita Gus Sowakula, 7 Sam Cane (c), 6 Lachlan Boshier, 5 Tyler Ardron, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Angus Ta’avao, 2 Nathan Harris, 1 Atu Moli.
Replacement: 16 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 17 Aidan Ross, 18 Nepo Laulala, 19 Jesse Parete, 20 Mitchell Jacobson, 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22 Marty McKenzie, 23 Alex Nankivell/Ataata Moeakiola.