An intercept try a minute from the final hooter with the Reds attacking and a try a definite possibility, not only saved the day for the Jaguares but strengthened their hold on the SA Conference.
The Jaguares won 34-23, scored five tries to two and went away with five log points to increase their log tally top 41 points – eight ahead of the Sharks on 33 who have a match in hand and face the Hurricanes later in the day. They need a win in that match to keep up and also to move into second place, where the Bulls, currently on 34 points, are currently still second.
It was tight, and the Reds surprised with their application and fire, but greater confidence and ability to score when they were in a position to do so when it mattered made the difference in a tight match that otherwise was even on statistics regarding every phase and facet.
♦ There was also the major surprise in Fiji when the Chiefs beat the combined log leaders and defending champions Crusaders 40-27 before a packed stadium in Suva.
It was a brilliant match, one of the best of the season, and showed how good Super Rugby can be between two good sides.
The Chiefs came back from 0-20 down after 29 minutes to score 40 points to the champions’ seven in the remaining 51 minutes. It was a thrill-a-minute match and especially gratifying for the winners who forfeited their home ground advantage to take the math to Suva.
A knock in the dive for a loose ball in Crusaders in-goal area in the last seconds denied the Chiefs a bonus point try that could come to haunt them as the sides jockey for the first eight places in the combined standings.
♦ The Sunwolves were predictably no match for the Brumbies in their Tokyo clash where the score was 42-19 and the home record of the Sunwolves this season still doesn’t show a single win.
The Brumbies scored six tries to three and added a bonus point to their log tally to stand on 39 points, five clear of second-placed Rebels in the Australian Conference who surprisingly went down to the Waratahs on Friday.