BUENOSAIRES (Reuters) – Jaguares wing Ramiro Moyano scored a hat-trick as they beat the Sharks 29-13 for a sixth consecutive win on Friday that keeps them firmly in second place in the South African conference.
The Argentine side’s eight wins in 13 matches so far is their best performance in three seasons in Super Rugby with another three games still to play after the June international break in which most of their players will represent the Pumas.
The Sharks, who had beaten the Jaguares in their four previous meetings, had captain Ruan Botha sent off six minutes from the end for a dangerous charge on centre Matias Orlando with Moyano’s third try soon after clinching the bonus point.
Flyhalf Nicolas Sanchez put the Jaguares 3-0 up in a tight opening half hour which included two penalty misses by the Sharks before the home side’s backs began to pierce the defence.
Fullback Emiliano Boffelli found the gap and sparked a passing move involving several players before Marcos Kremer passed the ball over the defence to Moyano, who touched down under the posts.
Less than three minutes later, Moyano scored again after the Jaguares took a tap penalty close to the Sharks’ line and Sanchez’s conversion had the Argentine side 17-0 ahead.
The Sharks managed to narrow the deficit to 17-7 after a strong spell of play delivered a try by lock Botha from a lineout on the halftime hooter, with flyhalf Robert du Preez converting.
The South African side had the better of the opening 15 minutes of the second half with two Du Preez penalties reducing the arrears to four points.
But the Jaguares, having had a try by lock Guido Petti disallowed for double movement, hit back with a breakaway try set up by Moyano and scored by wing Bautista Delguy with 10 minutes remaining.
(Reporting by Rex Gowar; Editing by Ken Ferris)