A grisly post-mortem has begun as pundits and fans dissect the Brumbies’ “meek” 39-7 semifinal capitulation in Buenos Aires — the proud club’s worst ever Super Rugby playoffs loss.
The Jaguares — stacked with Argentina Test players — took just five minutes to open the scoring through former Brumbies halfback Tomas Cubelli.
And there was no let-off in front of 31,000 fizzing fans as centre Matias Orlando grabbed a brace in the five tries to one rout.
“I’m really disappointed in that one,” said Brumbies captain Christian Lealiifano, the inspirational cancer survivor who will leave the Canberra club for Japan next season
“They were very good tonight and put us under a lot of pressure.
“We just couldn’t get back on top.
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“We got in late in that first half but the Jaguares were very good.”
Brumbies legend George Gregan told Fox Sports that Australia’s only finals team were never at the races.
“(The Jaguares) were just too good right from the get go,” Gregan said.
“They were relentless.
“That’s what you do if you’re playing at home and wanting to get into the final.”
Rugby website superxv.com said the Brumbies were guilty of “succumbing meekly” on the big stage — pointing blame at hooker Folau Fainga’a.
“Their lineout was a disaster as Fainga’a’s wayward throwing cost his team territory and possession,” the match report read.
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“The hooker gave away five throws to the home team inside 24 minutes, which is not good enough at any level.
“The South Americans kept coming; they bossed the breakdown as well as the scrums.
“The Brumbies had no answers, succumbing meekly.”
“A wobbling lineout, poor handling and finals nerves haunted the Brumbies for the entire 80 minutes in what was one of their most disappointing performances of the year,” Dutton wrote.
“The impressive Jaguares forced the Brumbies into playing panicked rugby.
“The lineout capitulated in the first half, players made schoolboy errors and the vocal 31,000 fans sensed blood in the water.
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“It was the Brumbies’ biggest loss of the season and the biggest defeat in a final in Super Rugby history.”
AAP reporter Eamonn Tiernan rued a “diabolical start” from Dan McKellar’s side.
“It was always going to be tough for the Brumbies against a team boasting 14 Test players in their starting side, and a further 185 international caps on the bench,” Tiernan wrote.
“But the visitors simply didn’t turn up and looked lacklustre from the opening whistle as the 30-hour trip from Canberra to Argentina appeared to have taken a toll.”
And the Canberra Times’ Caden Helmers and the Courier Mail’s Jim Tucker led the unimpressed Twitter reaction.