The Southern Kings got their 2017 Super Rugby campaign off to a disappointing start losing 39-26 to the Jaguares at Nelson Mandela Bay stadium on Saturday evening.
There were some bright early moments for the home team as they quickly ran up a 9-3 lead after nine minutes before the visitors chipped away to claim the lead at the break.
Playing in front of a mere 2 226 spectators, flyhalf Lionel Cronje kicked four penalties while the Argentines scored a beautiful, well-worked try through scrumhalf Gonzalo Bertranou, four penalties and conversion to see the Kings trailing 19-12 at halftime.
A further two penalties soon after restart saw the Jaguares move into a comfortable 25-12 lead. And when No8 Leonardo Senatore and fullback Lucas Noguera got in for the team’s second and third tries respectively before the hour-mark, the game had been taken away from the Kings.
There was a consolation moment for the Kings when right wing Makazole Mapimpi stepped wonderfully through the opposition to score his team’s first try of the campaign 13 minutes from fulltime. And there was more joy on the final hooter when Luzuko Vulindlu rounded off the night with a try.
The Kings now travel to play the Sunwolves at the Singapore National Stadium next Saturday.
Southern Kings: Tries Makazole Mapimpi, Luzuko Vulindlu; Conversions: Lionel Cronje (2); Penalties: Lionel Cronje (4)
Jaguares: Tries: Gonzalo Bertranou, Leonardo Senatore, Lucas Noguera; Conversions: Joaquin Diaz Bonilla, Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias (2); Penalties: Joaquin Diaz Bonilla (3), Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias (3).