Super Rugby 2018 Quarter-Final: Lions v Jaguares Preview

Super Rugby 2018 Quarter-Finals: Lions v Jaguares Preview

The Lions will be looking to continue their dream of making a third successive semi-final alive when they take on the Jaguares this Saturday, writes Darry Worthington.

Swys de Bruin will be looking to mark his debut year at the helm of the Lions Super Rugby franchise by ensuring that his side makes it to a third successive final. The first obstacle standing in their way is a Los Jaguares outfit that has enjoyed their best round-robin showing since joining the competition back in 2015.

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Lions v Jaguares
Saturday 21 July
Emirates Airline Stadium
15:05

To Win (80 Mins)
Lions 3/10
Draw 25/1
Jaguares 5/2

Handicap
Lions (-9.5) 9/10
Jaguares (+9.5) 9/10

Lions
It may not have been the most impressive season from Joburg's pride but they still managed to seal second-place on the Overall Conference despite securing fewer log point than both the Chiefs and Hurricanes. Having bagged second spot by virtue of being the second highest conference winner, the Lions will have a home semi-final if they beat the Jaguares this Saturday.

This weekend's hosts head into Saturday's game off the back of a strong showing against the Bulls that saw them run-out 38-12 victors. The Lions showed that they can be a very tough nut to crack defensively during the second stanza of last week's game as they ensured the Bulls were unable to score a point during the second 40-minutes.

Jaguares
The Argentines may be coming into Saturday's game off their beast round-robin phase showing but they have been far from their best over the past fortnight losing to both the Bulls and the Sharks.

Despite the losses, the Jaguares actually come into this one with a few things in their favour. Firstly, they won't have to adapt to conditions as they have been in South Africa for almost three weeks now. Secondly, they fielded a second-strength side last weekend, which means their star players will head into this one well-rested.

The visitors have proved to be a thorn in the Lions side in recent years beating the Joburgers on all three occassions the sides have met in Argentina. The Jaguares are yet to beat the Lions on home soil, however, with their best result being a 24-21 loss back in April 2017.

Squads

Lions – 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronjé, 8 Warren Whiteley (c), 7 Cyle Brink, 6 Kwagga Smith, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Marvin Orie, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Jacques van Rooyen.
Subs: 16 Corne Fourie, 17 Dylan Smith, 18 Johannes Jonker, 19 Lourens Erasmus, 20 Marnus Schoeman, 21 Dillon Smith, 22 Courtnall Skosan, 23 Howard Mnisi.

Jaguares – 15 Emiliano Boffelli, 14 Bautista Delguy, 13 Matias Orlando, 12 Jerónimo de la Fuente, 11 Matías Moroni, 10 Nicolás Sánchez, 9 Gonzalo Bertranou, 8 Javier Ortega Desio, 7 Tomás Lezana, 6 Pablo Matera (c), 5 Marcos Kremer, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 2 Agustín Creevy, 1 Santiago García Botta.
Subs: 16 Julian Montoya, 17 Juan Pablo Zeiss, 18 Santiago Medrano, 19 Matias Alemanno, 20 Tomás Lavanini, 21 Juan Manuel Leguizamón, 22 Martin Landajo, 23 Sebastian Cancelliere.

Verdict: Jaguares (+9.5) 9/10
The Jaguares have given the Lions a real run for their money in the recent past and I can see them doing it once again here. As such, I'm all over the plus handicap.


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Written by Darry Worthington for @Hollywoodbets.net

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