Pablo Matera Jaguares Super Rugby

Pablo Matera on his way to a Man of The Match performance for the Jaguares against the Sharks in Super Rugby. Image: Anesh DEBIKY / AFP.

Super Rugby semifinals: Fixtures, results and highlights

The Jaguares and Crusaders continued their excellent regular season form as they progressed to the Super Rugby final.

Pablo Matera Jaguares Super Rugby

Pablo Matera on his way to a Man of The Match performance for the Jaguares against the Sharks in Super Rugby. Image: Anesh DEBIKY / AFP.

Three past winners and a side looking for their maiden title will be slugging it out in the 2019 Super Rugby semifinals on Saturday morning.

The new kids on the block, the Jaguares are chasing another slice of history, having made it the furthest they have gone in the competition in their short history.

The men from Argentina enjoyed a strong finish in the round robin stage, finishing as South African conference winners, which secured them a home quarterfinal, where they triumphed over the Chiefs.

Having been lethal both home and away, they are slight favourites to make the final, as they host the Brumbies, who return to the site of their last defeat – the Estadio José Amalfitani Stadium in Buenos Aires in the early hours of Saturday morning (SAST).

Despite holding the psychological edge over their opponents, Jaguares skipper Jeronimo de la Fuente said he expected a completely different challenge from the Brumbies this time around.

“Ever since that game they have gelled as a group and have reached the semifinals.

“They have clearly gotten better. They have much more confidence. We really need to grit our teeth and play the perfect game.”

Jeronimo de la Fuente

The other semi is a New Zealand derby between defending champions and nine-time Super Rugby champions the Crusaders and 2016 winners the Hurricanes in Christchurch.

The two sides meet for the third time in this year’s competition, and the hosts will be eyeing a third straight victory over their bitter foes, which will guide them one step closer to a hattrick of titles.

Super Rugby 2019 semifinal fixtures

All times are SAST.

Jaguares 39-7 Brumbies

The Jaguares qualified for the final for the first time when they swamped the ACT Brumbies 39-7 in Buenos Aires. 

Matias Orlando scored twice and Joaquin Diaz Bonilla kicked 14 points as the Argentine Jaguares routed the Australian ACT Brumbies 39-7 Friday to reach their first Super Rugby final.

The South Americans scored 20 unanswered points within 20 minutes of the semi-final in Buenos Aires, led 20-7 at half-time and added three more tries during the second half.

Entering the semi-final after six straight victories, the Jaguares reacted to a 30,000 singing, clapping crowd by winning far more comfortably than expected.

Despite the long flight across the Pacific, the Brumbies were hopeful of making it to the final for a fourth time having won seven consecutive matches to reach the penultimate stage.

But they struggled in the lineouts and held an advantage only at the scrums, where they won several penalties and shoved the South Americans back several times.      

Competing in Super Rugby for only the fourth season, the Jaguares will face the Canterbury Crusaders or the Wellington Hurricanes, who meet Saturday, in the final next weekend.

If the Crusaders justify their season-long role of title favourites, they will stage the final in Christchurch while victory for the Hurricanes would mean Buenos Aires plays hosts.

Whoever emerges as champions, the Jaguares have been the story of the season, developing from a team that won only four of 15 matches three seasons ago to reaching the title decider.

Crusaders 30-26 Hurricanes

The Canterbury Crusaders confirmed a Super Rugby final against the Jaguares with a 30-26 victory in a bruising cliff-hanger semi-final against the Wellington Hurricanes in Christchurch on Saturday. 

It extended the nine-time champion Crusaders unbeaten home record to 30 although twice in the second half the Hurricanes closed within one point and threatened a boilover. 

The Crusaders led 13-0 after 39 minutes before a dramatic turn in the game when the Hurricanes dropped their kicking plan and took to running the ball.

They scored just on half-time and immediately after the resumption to close within one point.

But everytime they touched down the Crusaders responded and opened up a four-point gap at the end with a Richie Mo’unga penalty.