Three games between them and not one victory for the Jaguares and Hurricanes ahead of their Super Rugby clash in Buenos Aires on Saturday.
Jaguares have gone down to the Stormers and Lions while the Hurricanes fell at the Bulls last week, putting extra importance on this game. Should the Argentines lose then their play-off hopes will take a further hit while defeat for the ‘Canes could see the Crusaders pull away.
On paper it should be the visitors who come out on top, especially as the Jaguares have lost their last three matches on home turf and are currently enduring their longest ever losing streak at home. But the Hurricanes are often sluggish starters in the competition and will be looking to avoid kicking off their campaign with consecutive defeats for the fourth time in the last six Super Rugby seasons this weekend.
They call in Beauden Barrett to their side, which should boost their chances significantly of coming away with the points. His partnership with TJ Perenara is a joy to watch at times and should create chances for fellow backs Ngani Laumape, Matt Proctor, Julian Savea, Ben Lam and the returning Jordie Barrett. His inclusion in the full-back shirt is another shot in the arm for Chris Boyd’s men at Vélez Sarsfield.
The ‘Canes have never played away at the Jaguares so that is perhaps something the hosts can use to their advantage as they return to what they finally hope will be a fortress this year. Three straight defeats would be a hammer blow to their 2018 hopes though, that’s for sure.
For Boyd’s men, as mentioned, they know they need at least four points in order to keep the Crusaders within touching distance before they host them next Saturday. A morale-boosting victory over the Jaguares would therefore be an ideal tonic for one of Super Rugby’s big guns.
The last time these teams met: The Hurricanes ran out 40-22 winners in Wellington in Round 7 of 2016’s season, with Beauden Barrett, Julian Savea (3), Dane Coles and Ben May all crossing the line. Barrett kicked five conversions as the Jaguares were eased aside in the second 40. Their try scorers were Leonardo Senatore, Matías Moroni and Martín Landajo, with Nicolas Sanchez adding two conversions and a penalty goal.
Team news: The Jaguares have made three changes in personnel to their side that will face the Hurricanes. Javier Ortega comes into the team on the flank, replacing Leonard Senatore, while at lock Marcos Kremer and Matias Alemanno get the nod. Otherwise it is an unchanged side with Javier Diaz, Juan Martin Leguizamon, Juan Martin Hernandez and Sebastian Cancelliere on the bench.
The Barrett brothers will return to the starting side for the Hurricanes. World Rugby Player of the Year Beauden Barrett will start at fly-half after coming off the bench during the Hurricanes’ opening match against the Bulls while Jordie Barrett has been named at full-back. Hurricanes head coach Chris Boyd has made four changes to the starting side from last week’s opening match against the Bulls with Chris Eves coming in for the injured Toby Smith while Ben Lam comes on to the wing to replace Goosen. There is also one positional change in the line-up as Matt Proctor moves from full-back into centre, with Vince Aso shifting to the bench.
2016: Hurricanes won 40-22 in Wellington
Jaguares: 15 Joaquin Tuculet, 14 Bautista Delguy, 13 Matias Orlando, 12 Bautista Ezcurra, 11 Emiliano Boffelli, 10 Nicolas Sanchez, 9 Gonzalo Bertranou, 8 Tomas Lezana, 7 Javier Ortega Desio, 6 Pablo Matera (c), 5 Matias Alemanno, 4 Marcos Kremer, 3 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 2 Agustin Creevy, 1 Felipe Arregui
Replacements: 16 Julian Montoya, 17 Javier Diaz, 18 Juan Pablo Zeiss, 19 Guido Petti, 20 Juan Martin Leguizamon, 21 Martin Landajo, 22 Juan Martin Hernandez, 23 Sebastian Cancelliere
Hurricanes: 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Julian Savea, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Gareth Evans, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Brad Shields (c), 5 Sam Lousi, 4 Vaea Fifita, 3 Ben May, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 1 Chris Eves
Replacements: 16 James O’Reilly, 17 Fraser Armstrong, 18 Alex Fidow, 19 Michael Fatialofa, 20 Blade Thomson, 21 Jamie Booth, 22 Jackson Garden-Bachop, 23 Vince Aso
Date: Saturday, March 3
Venue: Estadio José Amalfitani, Buenos Aires
Kick-off: 18:40 local (21:40 GMT – 10.40 NZT)
Referee: Nick Briant (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Mike Fraser (New Zealand), José Covasi (Argentina)
Television match official: Santiago Borsani (Argentina)