By Elliot Raiter
The Road Safety Western Force will complete their two-game tour this Sunday, 14 May, clashing with the Jaguares in a first ever encounter in Buenos Aires at Estadio Jose Amalfitani at 5.40am AWST.
The men in blue went down to a classy Sharks outfit last weekend and will be desperate to leave South America with the points.
The history of this fixture is that there is no history between these sides, with the Argentinian franchise entering the Vodafone Super Rugby Competition last season. The men in blue didn’t face the Jaguares last year and will be eager to challenge themselves against the competition's newest member.
For many of the Force players this will be their first time in Argentina, with only the Wallaby representatives having the chance to tour South American and play the national side.
While the Road Safety Western Force went down 37-12 in Durban, the Jaguares are in fine form after dispatching the Sunwolves 46-39 in an inspired comeback win. Both teams will be desperate for a victory after inconsistent starts to the season.
The Road Safety Western Force have made a host of changes heading into the pivotal clash in Buenos Aires, with veterans Tatafu Polota-Nau and Matt Hodgson being rotated out of the fixture. Richie Arnold will pair Adam Coleman for the first time, with the two giants recording the tallest lock combination in Force history. Onehunga Havilli makes his run-on debut for the Force, while Peter Grant and Semisi Masirewa start for the first time his season.
The Jagaures have made seven changes to their side, with Martin Landajo making his first start for the year, partnering Juan Martin Hernandez to create a lethal combination. Matias Alemanno comes into the second row in place of Marcos Kremer, with the front row remaining the same led by captain Agustin Creevy.
The scum will be key to deciding the winner of the much-anticipated contest, with the South American side dominating the area in recent times. Their set-play from the scrum allows for quick movement, a strategy that saw the side pile on 46 points last week. However, the Force pack has some toughness of its own and will test the depth of the Jagaures.
The Argentinian side loves to offload to continue their quick ball movement, with a strong defensive game vital to the Force taking the points. Plenty of changes in the side creates excitement around the squad, the new environment of South America presenting a massive challenge for the men in blue.
The Force and Jagaures boast experienced campaigners in the number 10 guernsey, with Jono Lance and Juan Martin Hernandez looking to control the game from the beginning.
Lance has won back his spot at flyhalf striking some form against the Lions and Sharks over the past fortnight. The number 10 will call the shots at the set piece and will look to kick straight when he is given the opportunity.
Hernandez will lean on all his experience against the Force, with the playmaker a dominant figure in the Jagaures lineup after 66 games for his country. Hernandez possesses strong scoring potential and is a dangerous proposition at the set piece.