Argentina’s Jaguares scored their second win in Super Rugby and first at home with a 73-27 win over South Africa’s Kings at Velez Sarsfield in Buenos Aires.
Pumas No.8 Leonardo Senatore led the way with three of his side’s 11 tries as the Jaguares celebrated their return home from a defeat to the Sunwolves in Tokyo by snapping a seven-match losing streak in some style.
“It was a good win, we’ve had a few bad games recently so we had to play some good rugby,” said skipper Martin Landajo, one of nine try scorers for the hosts.
“It’s a relief to have got such a win, we had tried some of these things in other matches and they didn’t come off so it’s like a new beginning.”
Centre Juan Martin Hernandez’s first-minute try set the tone for a blistering opening quarter from the Jaguares as he followed up his chip over the defence to score in the corner.
Four tries in 18 minutes left the Port Elizabeth-based Kings shellshocked and six before the break gave the Puma-laden home side a 40-15 halftime lead.
Flyhalf Elgar Watts kicked a penalty and tries by flanker Chris Cloete and centre Stefan Watermayer off an interception kept the visitors’ tails up.
The dominant Jaguares maintained their scoring rhythm in the second half, however, and their superior handling skills at speed helped them to five more tries to the joy of a passionate home crowd of about 12,000.
“We try to do that in this tournament, sometimes it works well, sometimes not so well. Today was alright,” Landajo said.
Five-eighth Nicolas Sanchez finished with a tally of 23 points from nine conversions and a try after a brilliant performance in which he orchestrated the attack with aplomb.
The Kings, who returned to Super Rugby this season after one campaign in 2013, had second half tries from flanker Thembelani Bholi and lock Steven Sykes but they only served to make the scoreline more respectable.