DURBAN (Reuters) - Centre Matias Orlando scored a hat-trick of tries as the Jaguares stunned the Sharks with a comprehensive 51-17 Super Rugby victory at King’s Park on Saturday.
The Argentine side claimed back-to-back wins on their South Africa tour, and a first-ever success in Durban, to storm back into contention for top spot in the conference as they overwhelmed their hosts by seven tries to two.
Flanker Pablo Matera scored two tries, while scrumhalf Tomas Cubelli and wing Matias Moroni also crossed over as the Jaguares proved clinical with ball in hand while also putting up a stout defensive effort to keep their hosts at bay.
The Sharks crushed the Lions last weekend at Ellis Park, but their inconsistency showed again as they were always second best, scoring only the two tries via lock Hyron Andrews and replacement back Aphelele Fassi.
It was also another example of the failure of a South African side to build any momentum this season, as the Sharks slipped to a 21-10 halftime deficit and never looked as though they would be able to fight back.
“Very happy with that, it was a very tough match,” Jaguares captain Jeronimo De La Fuente said at the post-match presentation.
“It has been a great two weeks (in South Africa), but we need to keep winning in Argentina against the Brumbies next time to make sure we can have a good tournament.”
The visitors were in front inside two minutes when number eight Tomas Lezana showed great pace to sprint away from the defence and present the opportunity to Cubelli to score.
Andrews replied for the home side, but the Jaguares led again when Matera showed deft skills to chip the ball over the defence and collect his own kick to score.
Orlando, who now has 12 Super Rugby tries this season, added another try for the visitors as they extended their lead before the break.
Matera crossed again to all but seal the win for the Jaguares, but they did not take their foot off the gas as Moroni and Orlando, with two more to complete his hat-trick, punished the home team.
“Very disappointed, nothing went right,” Sharks captain Louis Schreuder said. “To get 51 points against you, you have to look at your defence.
“We did not play in the right areas and made stupid mistakes.”
Reporting By Nick Said; Editing by Ian Chadband