Stephen Larkham’s Brumbies will be hoping to make it back-to-back wins when they travel to face the Jaguares.
Knocking off the Kings in Port Elizabeth was not only the first win for an Australian side in South Africa this year, but more importantly for the Brumbies ended a four-game losing streak.
It sums up the state of the Australian sides in 2017 that even with that losing run the Brumbies remained at the top of the Australian Conference. If they can add a win in Argentina to last week’s victory against the Kings, then confidence will only grow.
The maul has been an effective weapon for the Brumbies all season and after watching the Force win their own scrap in Buenos Aires the other week, the Brumbies will have taken note. Being able to select the same matchday 23 is also a huge bonus for Larkham.
“I like combinations and you’ve got to be careful of which combinations you change,” he told the Canberra Times.
“But you also have to be making sure you’ve got enough energy in the game, whether that means bringing reserves on earlier or what it is. But those are the crucial things.
“The good aspect out of last week was that the guys never lost their composure or confidence so those are the good signs you look for.”
The Jaguares week off certainly came at the right time, off the back of one of their worst performances since they joined Super Rugby with their attack lifeless and the error count unforgivable.
Pressure is on Raul Pérez and his coaching staff to turn things around, and catching the Sharks for the South African Group wildcard spot isn’t impossible.
Nine points behind though, the Jaguares cannot afford to slip up again, and a convincing win in Buenos Aires would certainly silence some doubters after they started the season so well.
Key returnees in Nicolás Sánchez, Leonardo Senatore and Tomás Lavanini should being more direction to a side who too often play with abandon, when a structured set-up could lead to results. As for as the Jaguares are concerned, this is win or bust.
Jaguares: 15 Joaquín Tuculet, 14 Ramiro Moyano, 13 Matias Orlando, 12 Jerónimo de la Fuente, 11 Batista Ezcurra, 10 Nicolás Sánchez, 9 Martín Landajo, 8 Leonardo Senatore, 7 Juan Manuel Leguizamón, 6 Tomás Lezana, 5 Matías Alemanno, 4 Tomás Lavanini, 3 Ramiro Herrera, 2 Agustín Creevy, 1 Lucas Noguera Paz
Replacements: 16 Julían Montoya, 17 Santiago Garcia Botta, 18 Enrique Pieretto, 19 Guido Petti, 20 Javier Ortega Desio, 21 Gonzalo Bertranou, 22 Juan Martín Hernández, 23 Matías Moroni
Brumbies: 15 Tom Banks, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 Aidan Toua, 10 Wharenui Hawera, 9 Joe Powell, 8 Jordan Smiler, 7 Chris Alcock, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Sam Carter (c), 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Josh Mann-Rea, 1 Ben Alexander
Replacements: 16 Robbie Abel, 17 Nic Mayhew, 18 Leslie Leulua’iali’i-Makin, 19 Blake Enever, 20 Jarrad Butler, 21 De Wet Roos, 22 Andrew Muirhead, 23 Andrew Smith
Date: Saturday, May 27
Venue: Vélez Sarsfield, Buenos Aires
Kick-off: 18:40 local (21:40 GMT)
Referee: Mike Fraser
Assistant Referees: Federico Anselmi, Jose Covasi
TMO: Santiago Borsani