– The Lions host
the Jaguares in
the Super Rugby quarter-finals this weekend knowing that they are up against a
The Jaguares have been one of the
major surprise packages of the tournament, making the playoffs for the first
time in their short history.
The end of their regular season,
though, did not go according to plan and losses in South Africa to the Bulls
and then the Sharks meant that the Argentines lost out in their push to finish
top of the South African Conference.
That honour went to the Lions,
despite a poor season so far by their normally high standards.
“We have a good record
against them at home, but they will bring a totally different challenge to what
the Bulls brought, and we’ll have to be very prepared,” Lions coach Swys
de Bruin said after his side’s 38-12 win against the Bulls on Saturday.
“The challenge for them is
that they are on the third week of their tour, but they travel more than most
of the other teams in the competition, so they are used to it.”
Lions captain Warren Whiteley,
meanwhile, has seen enough over the years to know what makes the Jaguares a
“They’re a very dangerous
side and they can win away from home, so it won’t faze them playing away from
home,” said Whiteley.
“When they get front-foot
ball with (Nicolas) Sanchez and their pack operating, then they are extremely
“They like to play those
little tap-on passes and play off 10.
“We’re going to have to
dominate the set piece and starve them of possession. They can also make a
breakdown extremely messy.”