Cape Town – The Sharks’ Super Rugby playoff chances suffered a massive blow on Friday night as they lost 29-13 to the Jaguares in Buenos Aires.
It was a scrappy affair, and the visitors will look back in disappointment after making numerous errors on the night, but in the end the men from Argentina have secured their sixth win in a row and have solidified their position in second place in the South African Conference.
The Sharks had started poorly and found themselves 17-0 down as the Jaguares scored two tries through left wing Ramiro Moyano.
A late first half-try from skipper Ruan Botha, though, ensured that the Sharks got themselves back into the game by going into the break trailing 17-7.
Two Robert du Preez penalties in the second half narrowed the gap to 17-13 as the Sharks began to look good for a comeback, but that was when the unforced errors really started to hurt.
When right wing Bautista Delguy scored a breakaway try with 10 minutes to, the match was over as a contest.
To make matters even worse for the Sharks, Botha was shown a straight red card towards the end of the match for a dangerous hit at a ruck.
In the final play of the game, Moyano went over for his hat-trick to give the Jaguares an all-important bonus point and a convincing victory.
The result leaves the Sharks third in the South African Conference and ninth overall – outside of the playoff places – while the Jaguares hold onto second spot in the Conference and move up to fifth overall.
Jaguares 29 (17)
Tries: Ramiro Moyano (3), Bautista Delguy
Conversions: Nicolas Sanchez (3)
Sharks 13 (7)
Try: Ruan Botha
Conversion: Robert du Preez
Penalties: Robert du Preez (2)
15 Emiliano Boffelli, 14 Bautista Delguy, 13 Matias Orlando, 12 Jeronimo de le Fuente, 11 Ramiro Moyano, 10 Nicolas Sanchez, 9 Gonzalo Bertranou, 8 Javier Ortega Desio, 7 Marcos Kremer, 6 Tomas Lezana (captain), 5 Tomas Lavanini, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 2 Agustin Creevy, 1 Santiago Garcia Botta
Substitutes: 16 Julian Montoya, 17 Javier Diaz, 18 Santiago Medrano, 19 Matias Alemanno, 20 Leonardo Senatore, 21 Martin Landajo, 22 Bautista Ezcurra, 23 Juan Cruz Mallia
15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Philip van der Walt, 5 Ruan Botha (captain), 4 Tyler Paul, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Akker van der Merwe, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16 Franco Marais, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Ross Geldenhuys, 19 Stephan Lewies, 20 Jacques Vermeulen, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Marius Louw, 23 Makazole Mapimpi