Monday, July 26, 2010
Sul Americano B 2008 - Brazil Leap Forward
Rugby in Brazil is a sport that is on the rise. Every year there are new clubs competing in different states across the country as the sport continues to pick up following increased exposure on ESPN and the success of neighbours Argentina against the worlds best. During the time of the first Rugby World Cup in 1987 rugby was only practiced in 3 of Brazil´s 26 states. Today, however, it is praticised in virtually every part of the country. There are registered clubs in 21 states and he number of registered players continues to rise every year.
This has all taken place with the national team playing few international matches every year and the sport recieving no tv exposure on free to air television in the country. Today, Brazil has established itself as the fourth best in South America but has more than three times as many clubs as the third best, Chile. It is just a question of when Brazil rises to third.
The 2008 Sul Americano B tournament or, the South American Rugby Championship B in English, doubled as round one of Rugby World Cup 2011 qualification for the Americas. With Argentina being automatic qualifiers for New Zealand 2011, based on their third place finish at France 2007, the Americas were awarded two two automatic places at Rugby World Cup 2011 and the possibility for a third to qualify through repercharge.
Qualification began early in both North and South America with lower ranked countries competiting with each other to advance to face the regions heavy weights. Competing in Sul Americano 2008 were Brazil, Colombia, Paraguay, Peru and Venezuela who faced each other from June 19-29 2008. It was officially Round 1B of Americas Qualification with the winner advancing to face the winner of Round 1A which was the Caribbean Regional Championships involving the Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Guyana, Jamaica, Mexico, Trinidad & Tobago and Saint Vincent & the Grenadines. Trinidad & Tobago defeated Guyana 40-24 in the final to advance to Round 2.
Paraguay were favourites to win Round 1B based on the history of the participants and the fact that the tournament was staged entirely in the country´s capital, Asunción.
The top two teams were guaranteed to be promoted to Division A of CONSUR - Sul Americano A but only the winner would advance to face Trinidad & Tobago. Paraguay had been in Sul Americano A previously but Brazil had been playing in Sul Americano B. The previous year, in 2007, Brazil had won the tournament held in Peru after defeating 24-15, Venezuela, 49-07 and Colombia 43-03. They were therefore, entering as a vastly superior side to all others who would face Paraguay. With more players and clubs than Paraguay, Brazil were able to knock over the hosts to win the tournament. Brazil won all of its matches. Their first three were comfortable wins and they fought out a touch match to defeat Paraguay 15-06. Brazil secured a home and away series against Trinidad & Tobago which
took place in November 2008.
June 19, 2008: Brazil 34-06 Colombia
June 23, 2008: Brazil 61-08 Venezuela
June 26, 2008: Brazil 59-0 Peru
Final, June 29: Brazil 15-06 Paraguay
The 2008 Sul Americano A was held in November with Argentina winning the tournament after defeating Chile 71-03 in Santiago and Uruguay 43-08 in Buenos Aires. Uruguay claimed second spot after defeating Chile 46-12 in Montevideo.
Special thanks to André Marques for the videos