Preview: Jaguares v Kings

Date published: April 29 2016

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The Jaguares will be hoping to secure their first home win in Super Rugby when they host fellow struggling side the Kings in Buenos Aires on Saturday.

The home side have not managed to secure a victory in their maiden season of Super Rugby since their opening round 34-33 win over the Cheetahs. Despite putting up a spirited fight last week against fellow new boys, the Sunwolves, they came up short as the Japanese outfit outclassed them by 36-28.

Both sides are languishing at the bottom of the Africa 2 table with the Jaguares only three points clear of their South African opponents.

Either way it will not be a match that will be known for flair or flamboyancy as both sides have not displayed any signs of either of these attributes.

A win for either side will definitely boost their confidence going forward but certainly not to the point where they will become favourites to win against the more experienced Super Rugby franchises.

Raul Pérez's side boasts a large number of Argentina international players, but are finding the hectic travelling schedule tough as he is forced to make wholesale changes to his side almost every week.

Despite their poor tackling form, the Kings have managed to use little possession to good effect. The Port Elizabeth side have scored nine of their fourteen tries in the first half – the most by any team.

The visitors, who have conceded an astronomical 45 points on average per game this season, will however definitely have to tighten up their defence against the attacking onslaught of the Jaguares as they 

Players to watch: Utility back Juan Martín Hernández has certainly shown his class this season, the former Racing and Toulon star has allowed the Jaguares to run with ease. His darting breaks have often kept the opposition guessing and against the poor defence of the Kings he will definitely be exposing the South African side's midfield.

The lineout battle will prove to be a deciding factor for whichever team gets the best quality ball and Kings second-rower JC Astle has certainly proven to be a nuisance against even the toughest opponents in the competition. The lanky lock has taken 33 lineouts which includes two steals and his form at this set piece will be come in handy for the struggling visitors.

Team news: Jaguares head coach Raul Pérez has opted to make 12 changes in total to his squad for Saturday's clash. The three surviving players from the team's defeat to the Sunwolves include captain Agustín Creevy and lock Matías Alemanno, while Juan Martín Hernández moves from fly-half to inside centre.

Full-back Joaquín Tuculet misses out after going off injured last weekend against the Sunwolves, replaced in the number 15 jersey by Emiliano Boffelli. Martín Landajo and Nicolás Sánchez make up the half-backs while Santiago Cordero returns on the wing.

Meanwhile, Kings head coach Deon Davids has made nine changes to his starting XV, including two positional changes, for Saturday's clash with the Jaguares. The front-row is boosted by the return of Edgar Marutlulle at hooker in place of Martin Ferreira, while tighthead prop Jacobie Adriaanse moves to the bench to make way for Tom Botha in a rotational move.

JC Astle moves up from the bench to start at lock alongside captain Steven Sykes, filling in for Schalk Oelofse, who misses the Argentinian tour due to a concussion sustained during last weekend's loss to the Lions. The loose trio remains unchanged with Chris Cloete and Thembelani Bholi at flank, while CJ Velleman returns at number eight.

Ntando Kebe comes in at scrum-half in a rotational change with James Hall, while Elgar Watts gets a start at fly-half in place of Louis Fouche, who moves to the bench. The two positional changes see Luzuko Vulindlu moving to left wing, while Lukanyo Am moves from outside centre to right wing.

Stefan Watermeyer comes up from the bench to outside centre, playing alongside vice-captain Shane Gates, who holds his position at inside centre.

Jaco van Tonder gets his first start at full-back, following the absence of Malcolm Jaer, who is out for six weeks following a broken hand sustained during the Lions game.

Form: The home side have been winless all season since their Round One 34-33 win over the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein. The Jaguares are on a six-match losing streak which does make this clash all the more important as they are lamenting their narrow loss to fellow newcomers the Sunwolves last week. The Kings have also recorded only one win, a 33-28 victory over the Sunwolves a few weeks back. The Port Elizabeth side have conceded a whopping 200 points in their opening four matches managing to score only 76. The Lions gave them a 45-10 hiding last week at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

Prediction: Regardless of their seven-match losing streak, the Jaguares will have to be really poor to concede yet another loss against one of the worst defences in the competition. They should outclass their opponents. Jaguares by seven points or more.

The teams:

Jaguares: 15 Emiliano Boffelli, 14 Santiago Cordero, 13 Matías Moroni, 12 Juan Martín Hernández, 11 Manuel Montero, 10 Nicolás Sánchez, 9 Martín Landajo, 8 Leonardo Senatore, 7 Javier Ortega Desio, 6 Tomás Lezana, 5 Tomás Lavanini, 4 Matías Alemanno, 3 Ramiro Herrera, 2 Agustín Creevy (c), 1 Santiago García Botta
Replacements: 16 Julián Montoya, 17 Facundo Gigena, 18 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 19 Guido Petti, 20 Facundo Isa, 21 Gonzalo Bertranou, 22 Jerónimo De La Fuente, 23 Lucas González Amorosino

Kings: 15 Jaco van Tonder, 14 Lukhanyo Am, 13 Stefan Watermeyer, 12 Shane Gates, 11 Luzuko Vulindlu, 10 Elgar Watts, 9 Ntando Kebe, 8 CJ Velleman, 7 Thembelani Bholi, 6 Chris Cloete, 5 JC Astle, 4 Steven Sykes (c), 3 Tom Botha, 2 Edgar Marutlulle, 1 Schalk Ferreira 
Replacements: 16 Martin Ferreira, 17 Justin Ackerman, 18 Jacobie Adriaanse, 19 Stefan Willemse, 20 Aidon Davis, 21 James Hall, 22 Louis Fouche, 23 Leighton Eksteen

Date: Saturday, April 30
Venue: Velez Sarsfield, Buenos Aires
Kick-off: 18:40 local (21:40 GMT)
Referee: Stuart Berry
Assistant Referees: Federico Anselmi, Juan Sylvestre
TMO: Santiago Borsani

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