Rebels vs Jaguares: Super Rugby live scores, blog

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    Rebels vs Jaguares

    Super Rugby, 14 July, 2017

    AAMI Park
    Fulltime - Rebels 29, Jaguares 32
    Rebels   Jaguares
    29 FINAL SCORE 32
    2 TRIES 4
    0 DROP GOALS 0
    Referee: Angus Gardner
    Touch judges: Damon Murphy & James Leckie
    TMO: Damien Mitchelmore

    The Melbourne Rebels‘ season from hell comes to a close tonight at AAMI Park, and nobody will be upset at closing that chapter and turning focus towards next season, at least as much as off-field circumstances will allow. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of their game against the Jaguares, starting from 7:45pm AEST.

    It was evident last week in Perth that both the Force and Rebels players were extremely frustrated at their predicament, and that is no good frame of mind to be taking on an opponent who, while they may have failed to reach expectations by missing the finals this year, are studded with high-quality Test players, and others who are looking to make a bid for Test selection for the upcoming Rugby Championships.

    The Jaguares are coming off a win last week against the Waratahs, probably their most complete team performance of the season, and they have made two changes to their starting line-up; Bautista Ezcurra coming in at centre and Rodrigo Baez at flanker.

    As always, captain Augustine Creevy will capture a lot of fan interest. He is a charismatic character, in the elite echelon of world hookers, while in the backs, Nicolas Sanchez, capped 53 times for the Pumas, always adds flair and colour to any game he plays.

    Also interesting will be how the Jaguares adapt to referee Angus Gardner. In their two seasons of Super Rugby they have struggled to keep 15 players on the field, but Creevy told me after training yesterday that this is an aspect of their game that they are working hard on to improve.

    This occasion will mark the final match for Rebels coach Tony McGahan, who is returning to Queensland. After a very promising 2016 big things were expected from his side this year, but once some important players were injured early, things spiralled downhill very quickly.

    It will be fitting, and just reward, if his players can mark McGahan’s last match – and the last match for long-serving centre Mitch Inman – with a win.

    There remains a smattering of class players in the Rebels line-up, including form winger Marika Koroibete, and the man who is surely the Australian franchise player of the season, No.8 Amanaki Mafi. The promising Jack Maddocks also gets a starting opportunity this week, from fullback.

    There is no prior history between these franchises although, for very different reasons, both sides have plenty to play for tonight.

    Fans will be expecting the Rebels to put in a spirited showing, however, the Jaguares appeal as the more settled side. That should be enough to get them home.

    Jaguares by 10

    Join The Roar from 7:45pm AEST for pre-match discussion, live scores, commentary and debates.

    Geoff is a Melbourne-based sports fanatic and writer who started contributing to The Roar in 2012 under the pen name Allanthus. His first book, A World in Union Conflict; The Global Battle For Rugby Supremacy is due for release in November. Meanwhile, his twin goals of achieving a single figure golf handicap and owning a fast racehorse remain tantalisingly out of reach.

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