Argentina’s Jaguares yesterday upset the Waikato Chiefs to claim their fourth straight away win as defending champions the Canterbury Crusaders went on a second-half rampage in Melbourne.
The Jaguares claimed their second New Zealand scalp in as many weeks with a 23-19 win over the Chiefs in Rotorua, New Zealand.
It was an unprecedented fourth consecutive win for Mario Ledesma’s men, who scored two tries to nil, including a penalty try.
In Melbourne, record eight-time Super Rugby champions the Crusaders overpowered the Rebels 55-10 after leading 13-10 at halftime.
It was the Crusaders biggest win in Australia and stretched New Zealand’s winning run over Australian opposition to 37 straight matches.
The Crusaders paid for an early lack of discipline, with flanker Matt Todd and fullback David Havili sin-binned as the Rebels drew level at 10-10 before the New Zealand side edged ahead with a penalty after the halftime siren.
The Rebels’ misery was compounded by a medial knee ligament injury to their Wallaby scrum base general Will Genia, forcing him from the field just before halftime.
The Crusaders launched into a six-try second half with a try double to hooker Andrew Makalio and an impressive return from injury for flyhalf Richie Mo’unga.
“The main thing at halftime was discipline, we had a couple of guys in the bin in the first half and no matter who you’re playing, if you’re down to 14 players for a long period of time, you pay,” Crusaders skipper Sam Whitelock said. “It was great tonight, the boys worked hard for each other.”
Earlier, the Jaguares took two-and-a-half seasons to beat a New Zealand team in the Auckland Blues last week, but backed it up with a victory against the highly rated Chiefs.
They had a perfect record on their Australasian road trip, with wins against Melbourne Rebels, ACT Brumbies, Blues and Chiefs.
As they head back to Buenos Aires for a well-deserved bye, lock Guido Petti Pagadizava said confidence was high in the team that has struggled at times since joining Super Rugby in 2016.
“We keep doing our thing and trying to focus on our game, and it’s coming,” Pagadizava said.
The Chiefs let themselves down with poor discipline and were down to 13 men at one point, with two players in the sin bin.
They lost Sam Cane and Lachlan Boshier to injury just before kickoff and lacked fluency in attack.
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