Cape Town – A general tendency of “win one, lose one” has engulfed the SA conference in Super Rugby … and a shift toward better consistency levels doesn’t seem around the corner, either.
What’s more, there is every chance that the only non-South African team in the local conference, the Jaguares, will once again this season be the one able to boast the longest sequence of victories in ordinary season.
In that regard, they lead the five-strong pack so far by being able to show a run of four wins on the trot fairly recently: away triumphs over the Bulls and Sharks, followed by the home scalps of the Brumbies and Stormers before the run-ending Dunedin setback against the Highlanders on Saturday.
That puts them ahead of any SA-specific team for length of purple patch and helps explain why they currently have as good a chance as any rival of topping the conference for the playoffs phase and earning best seeding from the group as a result.
The Argentinean side lie joint-second with the Bulls on points (28) to the log-leading Sharks, who have 29 but also the drawback of having played one extra game.
In a reflection of the way the SA quartet have been giving their supporters grey hairs this year, the Lions and Stormers have managed one reasonable spell each of three wins in a row, but the Bulls and Sharks not yet able to show more than two victories in succession at any point up to and including now quite advanced round 13.
So the Jaguares lead the way again, bearing in mind that last season they had a conference-best golden spell in fairly late campaign, winning as many as seven in a row – including an astonishingly praiseworthy Australasian tour where they beat two Aussie and two New Zealand outfits for a 100 percent tour record.
That string of excellent form played a pivotal role in powering them into a 2018 playoffs berth.
In the current season, near-runaway overall leaders and defending champions the Crusaders, who have suffered only one reverse from 12 games, can already show TWO spells of four wins in succession, while compatriots the Hurricanes are on a hot streak of five on the trot that has not come to an end yet (they entertain the Jaguares on Friday).