Preview: Jaguares v Stormers

Date published: March 25 2016

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The Jaguares tackle another difficult assignment when they take on the Stormers in Buenos Aires on Saturday.

After kicking off their campaign with a narrow victory over the Cheetahs, the Argentine side suffered losses to the Sharks and Chiefs and they know nothing less than victory will justify their pre-season tag as potential tournament champions.

Despite playing in their backyard, they won't have things easy though as the Stormers are currently riding the crest of the wave after inflicting the first defeat on the high-riding Brumbies last weekend.

That result in Cape Town came after the Stormers delivered a masterful display in tactical kicking which caught the Australian Conference leaders by surprise.

The Jaguares have gained a reputation for playing an expansive brand of rugby. While that's pleasing on the eye, they have, however, developed a habit of trying to offload in the tackle regardless of their field position.

That could be suicidal if the Stormers kick as well, out of hand, as they did against the Brumbies.

It could mean that the Jaguares will try to run themselves out of trouble – if the visitors' kicking game pin them inside their 22 – which will work in the Stormers favour as they have the second highest tackle success rate (88%) – behind the Crusaders in the competition.

Players to watch: With so much riding on this match, ther will be plenty of pressure on Jaguares captain and hooker Agustin Creevy. The Stormers have one of the best line-outs – especially when competing on their opponents' ball – in the competition so his line-out accuracy will have to be perfect. As his side's leader, his decision-making will also be crucial if the home side want to return to the victory trail.

Stormers fly-half Kurt Coleman played arguably his best ever match for the men from the Cape in last week's triumph over the Brumbies. Coleman received plenty of praise for his tactical kicking and a repeat of that performance will put the Jaguares under plenty of pressure. Coleman also possesses an excellent running game and he could cause problems for his opponents if he manages to vary his game and make the correct decisions at the right times.
 
Team news: Jaguares boss Raul Pérez has made six changes to his run-on side. Felipe Arregui replaces Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, while Matías Alemanno comes in for Guido Petti in the second row. Tomás Lezana is another new face. He takes over from Juan Manuel Leguizamón at openside flank. In the backs, wingers Lucas González Amorosino and Matías Orlando start in place of Emiliano Boffelli and Santiago Cordero, with the latter named amongst the replacements. Juan Martín Hernández misses out due to a knee injury and his place in midfield is taken by Matías Moroni.

Stormers head coach Robbie Fleck has made three changes and a positional switch to the forward pack that started the 31-11 victory against the Brumbies last weekend. In the front row hooker Scarra Ntubeni makes his first start of the season, with Bongi Mbonambi moving to the replacements bench. Lock JD Schickerling will make his Stormers starting debut in place of Pieter-Steph du Toit who is being rested and did not travel to Argentina. Flank Sikhumbuzo Notshe comes back into the starting lineup, with the experienced Schalk Burger set to make an impact from the replacements bench and Nizaam Carr shifting back to number eight. In the backline Leolin Zas gets another opportunity to start after Dillyn Leyds suffered a knee injury in training on Tuesday which ruled him out of the trip to Argentina.
 
Form: The Jaguares started their campaign with a narrow 34-33 victory in their opener against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein. In their next match, they suffered a 19-15 loss to the Sharks in Durban before having a bye in Round Three and they suffered another defeat last weekend – 30-26 to the Chiefs in Buenos Aires.

The Stormers' campaign started in style with a 33-9 bonus-point triumph over the Bulls in Cape Town and they followed that up with a hard-fought 20-10 victory over the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein. Things went pear-shaped when they lost 18-13 in Cape Town to the Sharks but bounced back with a 31-11 home win over the Brumbies in Round Four.
 
Prediction: With the two sides set to employ contrasting game-plans this could be the most interesting match-up of the round. The Stormers are on a high over that win over the Brumbies and should just sneak in. Stormers by three points!
 
The Teams:
 
Jaguares:
15 Joaquín Tuculet, 14 Matías Orlando, 13 Matías Moroni, 12 Jeronimo de la Fuente, 11 Lucas González Amorosino, 10 Nicolás Sánchez, 9 Martín Landajo, 8 Leonardo Senatore, 7 Tomás Lezana, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Tomas Lavannini, 4 Matías Alemanno, 3 Felipe Arregui, 2 Agustín Creevy (c), 1 Santiago García Botta
Replacements: 16 Julián Montoya, 17 Roberto Tejerizo, 18 Enrique Pieretto, 19 Guido Petti, 20 Facundo Isa, 21 Gonzalo Bertranou, 22 Santiago González Iglesias, 23 Santiago Cordero 

Stormers: 15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Johnny Kotze, 12 Juan de Jongh (cc), 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Kurt Coleman, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Siya Kolisi, 6 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 5 JD Schickerling, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe (cc), 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg
Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Oli Kebble, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Jan de Klerk, 20 Schalk Burger, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 23 Huw Jones
 
Date: Saturday, March 26
Venue: Vélez Sarsfield, Buenos Aires
Kick-off: 18:40 local (21:40 GMT)
Referee: Chris Pollock
Assistant Referees: Jamie Nutbrown, Federico Anselmi
TMO: Santiago Borasni

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