Lions win the battle of the big cats
The Lions got their Super Rugby campaign off to a winning start with a 25-16 win over the Jaguares in Buenos Aires on Saturday night.
It was their first win in the Argentine capital at the fourth attempt.
Unremitting defence helped the Lions absorb second half pressure to help set them on the path to their opening win of the season.
It meant the Jaguares‚ although willing ball carriers‚ again lost composure when they needed it most.
The hosts squandered several scoring opportunities‚ some of it through some bloody minded Lions’s defence.
The Lions relied heavily on their driving maul in the opening half‚ making significant inroads into the Jaguares defence.
Their first try came as a result of a maul‚ while their second arrived after a scrum that caught the hosts cold deep inside their own territory.
The Jaguares fed the scrum but got shoved off the ball resulting in it emerging on the Lions’s side where Marnus Schoeman collected and ran blindside to score.
A hat trick of tries by flank Schoeman got the Lions into a position of strength by the 50th minute as they went into a 22-13 lead.
The second half became a battle of wills with tactical kicking becoming the order of the day.
Jaguares flyhalf Joaquin Diaz Bonilla and the Lions’ Elton Jantjies added a penalty each to round off the scoring.
Jaguares (13) 16
Try: Santiago Medrano. Conversion: Joaquin Diaz Bonilla. Penalties: Diaz Bonilla (3).
Lions (15) 25
Tries: Marnus Schoeman (3). Conversions: Elton Jantjies (2). Penalties: Jantjies (2).