Super Rugby 2019: Last-minute try salvages victory for Chiefs over Jaguares

Halfback Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi scrambled over for a last-gasp try to give the Chiefs another much-needed victory over the Jaguares in their Super Rugby revivial.

Three weeks ago, the Waikato side were winless and looking completely out of their depth, but a home draw against the Hurricanes, and road wins over the Bulls and Jaguares have given them renewed hope.

After dominating the first half in Buenos Aires, they conceded back-to-back converted tries and a third with just seven minutes left, before rallying to a nail-biting 30-27 victory over the home side.

Damian McKenzie and Joaquin Diaz Bonilla exchanged penalties, the Chiefs took the first clear lead of the game, when McKenzie strolled over untouched from a period of sustained pressure.

Brother Marty provided the inspiration for their second try, cross-kicking towards the goalposts, where centre Tumua Manu was able to gather the rebound and dive over.

Leading 17-6 at the break, the Chiefs seemed to have regained the mojo they had lost through the opening month of the competition, but the wheels threatened to fall off again, when Joaquin Tuculet and Pablo Matera scored next, both tries converted by Diaz Bonilla.

The first-five sparked Tuculet's spectacular effort, kicking to the corner of the goal area, barely clearing Damian McKenzie, for his fullback to catch and force, before sliding dead.

McKenzie stopped the rot with a penalty, but with the end in sight, Matias Maroni was on hand to pounce on another crosskick from Diaz Bonilla and the Argentinians seemed to have snatched an unlikely victory.

The home side had shown plenty of enterprise, but shot themselves in the foot with turnovers.

The Chiefs weren't finished though and when the Jaguares were penalised in their own half, there was one last chance to mount an attack from a close-range lineout.

The opportunity seemed to have ended, when Marty McKenzie's wide pass was cut off, but the clearing kick was charged dead and the Chiefs had a five-metre scrum. 

Replacement Taleni Seu charged off the back and offloaded to his halfback for the game-clincher.

The Chiefs still occupy bottom spot in the NZ conference, one point shy of the Highlanders, but suddenly their fortunes don't seem as bleak as they did after four straight losses to open their campaign.

They enjoy a bye week off, before taking on the similarly resurgent Blues on April 13.

Chiefs 30 (Damian McKenzie, Tumua Manu, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi tries; McKenzie three conversions & three penalties) Jaguares 27 (Matias Moroni, Joaquin Tuculet & Pablo Matera tries, Joaquin Diaz Bonilla three conversions & two penalties)