WELLINGTON – The Jaguares overcame a horror start to post a maiden win over Hurricanes in a major upset Friday that ended a five-match winning streak for the home team.
After conceding a try in the opening minute, the committed Jaguares piled on the pressure and punished a mistake-ridden performance from the Hurricanes to win 28-20.
They scored four tries to three, with a Hurricanes' effort after the siren flattering the scoreline for the hosts, who had not lost at home to non-New Zealand opposition since April 2015.
It was also the Argentinians first win in three meetings over the Hurricanes and puts them at the top of the South African conference.
"This is really big for us as a team," captain Pablo Matera said as his players celebrated with hugs and kisses on the field.
"To come here and get a victory in Wellington against one of the best teams in the world, it's amazing."
Matera said the Jaguares were confident after a narrow 32-17 loss to Otago Highlanders last week.
"We thought if we could make a few things better we could win here," he said.
"We're growing as a team and we can beat anyone, we demonstrated that tonight."
The Hurricanes stunned the Jaguares with a try in the first minute, when Jordie Barrett made a run then Ngani Laumape's grubber kick found Vaea Fifita in space.
Barrett turned from hero to villain when he deliberately knocked the ball out of play as the Jaguares were poised to score, earning himself a yellow card and the opposition a penalty try.
The Jaguares extended their lead when Augustin Creevy crashed over the line from the back of a driving maul, with Joaquin Diaz Bonilla adding the conversion.
Jeronimo De La Fuente added a third try after the Jaguares stole a lineout ball, catching the Hurricanes' defence flat-footed, heading into the break leading 21-8.
Laumape scored soon after the restart but Julian Montoya restored the Jaguares buffer with 13 minutes to go.
Kane Le'aupepe's late converted try offered some consolation after a Hurricanes' performance that captain TJ Perenara described as "disappointing" and "frustrating".
"We did some good things but didn't execute for long enough and when they had opportunities at our end of the field they put points on us," he saidAFP