Saturdays sees the Brumbies travel to Argentina to face the Jaguares in the second Super Rugby semi-final in a battle between the winners of the Australian and South African conferences respectively.
The Brumbies have been the shining light in an otherwise disappointing Australian showing. This was further highlighted as the Canberra-based outfit dismantled the Sharks in a 38-13 quarter-final victory. This form comes in a timely manner as the tournament enters the later part of the business end.
However, this does not simplify their task at hand. Although only two points separated the two sides at the end of the regular season, the Jaguares home form has been colossal, to say the least. An away trip to Argentina is imposing as it is, even more so after a long flight.
The home side have become renowned for quick starts, including a first minute try in their 21-16 quarter-final match-up against the Chiefs. Big ball carriers get themselves in the game early and set the tone for the match. The Brumbies will be conscious of this and will hope that they can assert their physically to nullify threats early on.
A betting man would not look far past the home team as a jet-lagged Brumbies team will have to build on their exciting form to have a chance in Argentina. The purpose of a fortress is to prevent infiltration, something which the Jaguars will show in a typically passionate display on Saturday.
The Australians will be hungry to win, hungry to break down the walls of the Jose Amalfitani Stadium and are very capable of doing so. Once again fans around the globe will be treated to another mouthwatering semi-final clash.
15 Emiliano Boffelli, 14 Sebastian Cancelliere, 13 Matias Orlando, 12 Jeronimo de la Fuente (captain), 11 Matias Moroni, 10 Joaquin Diaz Bonilla, 9 Tomas Cubelli, 8 Javier Ortega Desio, 7 Tomas Lezana, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Tomas Lavanini, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Santiago Medrano, 2 AgustinCreevy, 1 Mayco Vivas
Substitutes: 16 Julian Montoya, 17 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 18 Enrique Pieretto, 19 Marcos Kremer, 20 Francisco Gorrissen, 21 Felipe Ezcurra, 22 Domingo Miotti, 23 Ramiro Moyano
15 Tom Banks, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Irae Simone, 11 Toni Pulu, 10 Christian Leali’ifano (captain), 9 Joe Powell, 8 Lachlan McCaffrey, 7 Tom Cusack, 6 Rob Valetini, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Folau Fainga’a, 1 Scott Sio
Substitutes: 16 Connal McInerney, 17 James Slipper, 18 Leslie Leuluaialii-Makin, 19 Darcy Swain, 20 Murray Douglas, 21 Jahrome Brown, 22 Matt Lucas, 23 Tom Wright