Jaguares keep Lions at bay in Super Rugby

Argentina's Jaguares recovered from a poor display last weekend to beat South Africa's Lions 49-35, in a pulsating Super Rugby match at Velez Sarsfield.

The hosts got off to a perfect start with a try to winger Bautista Delguy after one minute.

Five-eighth Nicolas Sanchez, having converted, increased their lead to 10 points with a penalty 10 minutes later.

The Lions, runners-up in the tournament last year, hit back with two tries during a dominant spell midway through the first half, lock Marvin Orie going over from a maul after a lineout.

Winger Sylvian Mahuza put the Lions ahead three minutes later with a try and Springboks five-eighth Elton Jantjies kicked his second of five conversions but the end of the half belonged to the Jaguares.

Emiliano Boffelli, one of three players to score two tries, went over in the corner, his try awarded after confirmation from the televison mathch official (TMO).

The Jaguares were in control again and a fine passing movement led to number eight Javier Ortega Desio going over in the corner on the stroke of halftime, with Sanchez's conversion putting the home side 25-14 ahead at the interval.

Ten minutes into the second half, Boffelli scored again from Delguy's pass, the conversion putting the Jaguares 18 points clear.

The Lions were stung and quickly fought their way back to within four points midway through the second half.

Replacement forwards Malcolm Marx and Lourens Erasmus went over in the space of six minutes, the first from a maul after a lineout, the second the result of a patient, 14-phase build-up.

Jaguares centre Bautista Ezcurra then darted through a gap in the visiting defence to dampen Lions joy, but Marx again scored a try from the visitors' best weapon, their forwards' rolling maul.

It was then Ortega Desio's turn to cross again, Sanchez's pass sending him through before the Argentina five-eighth kicked his third penalty to keep his side 14 points clear with five minutes remaining and take his personal tally to 19.

The conference leading Lions made handling errors as they tried to get back into the match and the Jaguares held out for their second win of the season.

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