The St.George Queensland Reds have defended their way to a determined 18-7 win over the Jaguares in Buenos Aires in Round 5 of Vodafone Super Rugby.
The win was the team’s third-straight for the year, something which hasn’t been achieved by the Reds since 2013.
Reds head coach Brad Thorn said: “The defensive effort from the team tonight was huge. We used the full squad and everyone contributed.
“I thought the pack performed well, especially at scrum time. To come to Argentina, where they love scrummaging, and do a job was special.
“We’ve clearly got a lot of growth left in us, everybody can see that, but there were good aspects everywhere tonight.
“That win took ticker. They guys are proud Queenslanders and they’re showing it.”
The Reds outscored the Jaguares two tries to one, with Brandon Paenga-Amosa and Filipo Daugunu both crossing the line. The boot of scrumhalf James Tuttle kept pressure on the scoreboard, slotting two penalties and a conversion.
The Reds found themselves defending for large portions of the match, with the Jaguares enjoying 58 per cent of possession, forcing Queensland to make 159 tackles, compared to the home side’s 116.
Tuttle opened the scoring in the third minute, kicking a penalty goal to put the Reds in the lead 3-nil.
The Jaguares answered back just minutes later with Bautista Delguy crossing for the first try of the match. Nicolas Sanchez kicked the conversion, putting the home side ahead 7-3.
The Reds strung together some phase play and were eventually rewarded with a try off the back of a rolling maul through Brandon Paenga-Amosa in the 27th minute, to give the Reds an 8-7 lead.
Tuttle extended the Reds’ lead in the 35th minute, with his second penalty goal taking the score to 11-7.
In the final minutes of the first half, the Jaguares looked as if they would score, but scrambling defence saw the Reds force a knock inside the in-goal to head to the changeroom with a narrow lead.
The Reds scored the first points of the second half with Filipo Daugunu notching his first Super Rugby try off the back of a nice set-piece move.
With a lineout inside their own half, the Reds got the ball to flanker Caleb Timu who burst through a hole before linking with the backs. Centres Samu Kerevi and Chris Feauai-Sautia put it through the hands to Daugunu, who ran 20 metres and bumped the final defender, somehow staying in touch, before dotting down. Tuttle slotted the conversion, taking the score to 18-7.
A defensive test followed, as the Jaguares turned down four shots at goal inside Queensland’s 22-metre line in search of their second try, but the Reds held firm with desperate defence.
It looked as though Juan Manuel Leguizamon would cross in the corner for the Jaguares in the 75th minute, but a last-gasp cover tackle from replacement flyhalf Hamish Stewart, assisted by Ben Lucas, put him into touch.
The home-side continued to attack the Reds’ line in the final stages of the match, but a pilfer from Stewart secured the Reds a penalty five metres from their own line. Lucas booted the ball into touch to end the match, seeing the Reds claim the win.
The Reds now travel to Cape Town to play the Stormers on Sunday 25 March at 1:15am AEST.
St.George Queensland Reds 18 (Brandon Paenga-Amosa, Filipo Daugunu tries; James Tuttle 1 con; Tuttle 2 pen) defeated Jaguares 7 (Bautista Delguy try; Nicholas Sanchez 1 con) at Estadio Jose Amalfitani, Buenos Aires on Saturday 17 March 2018.