Super Rugby: the numbers that reflect the progress of Jaguars in three years

Thursday 27 June 2019 - in Sports

A few days ago, Gonzalo Quesada was asked about the secrets of the transformation of Jaguars. The historic triumph over Chiefs that would place the Argentine franchise, for the first time in its four years of existence, in the semifinals of the prestigious Super Rugby had not yet been consummated. Super Rugby Final 2019 Live "You have to put everything in the balance, there was a very good job from Raúl Pérez, Asper, who grabbed this project from scratch, Argentine rugby had to discover this professional level, they paid the right floor and their staff did a great job. That allowed us to improve a lot, "acknowledged the current head coach of the orange and black team on Crusaders vs Jaguars Live Stream.

The statistics attest that the team of the Argentine Rugby Union always went from low to high. Does not matter the item. The franchise was showing a progressive growth since landing in the most demanding tournament in the world. Even in the most important and visible: the results. In his debut season he won just four wins in 15 games and finished 13th, over five rivals in the general standings: Southern Kings and Cheetahs (from South Africa, both dissolved), Sunwolves (Japan), Reds and Force (Australia). The balance improved in 2017, the last of the two years of "Aspirina" Pérez: added seven wins and eight defeats, which left Jaguars 10th.

The arrival of Mario Ledesma caused the first obvious jump: nine victories and the same amount of defeats, an eighth place in the table and the first classification for the playoffs, which lasted only one commitment for the Argentines, for the defeat against Lions in a quarter-final, as visitors. 2019 was already great: 12 victories and five falls, the first place in the South African Conference, the third best overall record and the second location -by a normative question- among the 15 teams, below the double champion, Crusaders.

If you put the accent on the game, you see a radical change in the attack-defense balance between the team of Quesada and those of his predecessors. This season it has 482 points scored and 368 received in 17 matches, which gives a favorable score of +114, while the balance of 2018 was -26, 2017 closed +18 and 2016 ended -51 .

The first conclusion is, then, a more offensive rugby. Jaguares was the second leading scorer, behind Crusaders, and scored 62 tries, averaging 3.6 per game. In this category it ranks fourth in the ranking, but it is well above its 53 of 2018 (10th place), its 49th of 2017 (10th) and its 44th of 2016 (13th). Curiously, there are no Argentines in the Top 10 of the trymans or the scorers of the contest, which shows the successful rotation of Quesada in the last section of the season.

The good performance is also given, in line with the Argentine DNA, in the defense. It is the third set that received the fewest points, below Crusaders and Sharks, and the second to the least tries (39), always underneath the New Zealand franchise. In tackles effectiveness is sixth, with 85.1%, and climbed several locations with the running of the seasons; in 2016 it was ranked 15th, with 81.1%, in 2017 it rose to 12th place, with 82.8%, with 81.9% of 2018 figuring 13th.

Regarding indiscipline, the Argentines gave 177 penalties in their 17 performances, an average of 10.4. They are exceeded only by Sunwolves, with 187 infractions. In addition, Jaguares is ranked 3rd in number of yellow cards, with 6. The abundance of infractions is consistent with the aggressiveness that usually show the Argentine teams when they do not have the ball; The objective, in this case, is not to be as disciplined as possible but to avoid reaching the double digits of penalties per encounter.

And how to obtain? The differences that occurred in the effectiveness of the line-out between the period of Raúl Pérez and the stages of Ledesma and Quesada are notable. In those first two seasons Jaguars registered 84.7 and 85.2% of effectiveness, which ranked him 14th and 16th !, respectively (by that time, the tournament franchises were 17). Then, he got on the podium with 88.2% in 2018 and 91.3% so far in 2019. The difference seems minimal, but it is not at this level. Beyond the notorious improvements that occurred in the scrum, and more with the addition of Andres Bordoy to the staff, that fixed formation is still the Achilles heel of the Argentine team: it is last in efficiency for two seasons. Of course, this fact does not take into account the faults, both those committed and those received by the Argentine pack.

Unlike Sunwolves, the Japanese franchise that was added in the same year and that will disappear in 2020 because it never finished settling, the Jaguares route was always ascending. He became so gradually an important protagonist of the Super Rugby that nobody noticed. But the numbers guarantee it.
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