Sunday, August 8, 2010

Brazil vs Trinidad & Tobago, 2008

As winners of the South And North American respective Round One qualification tournaments for Rugby World Cup 2011, Brazil and Trinidad & Tobago faced off in Round 2, which was called the Regional Champions Playoff. It would determine the team to join South American heavyweights, Chile and Uruguay in Round 3A, also known as the 2009 South America Consur A Championship.

In qualifying for the Regional Champions Playoff, Trinidad & Tobago had pulled off surprizing results against teams considered to be of a better quality such as Barbados and Guyana. In the qualification series for Rugby World Cup 2007, Trinidad & Tobago lost 25-13 to Barbados and 29-21 to Guyana. This meant that they were eliminated. Barbados went on to defeat Guyana to advance to the next round. Trinidad & Tobago turned around a 12 point loss to defeat Barbados by an incredible 56 points in 2008. They won their Quarter Finals match 39-12 vs the Cayman Islands before defeating Barbados 56-0 in the semi final and Guyana 40-24 in the final.

Brazil were equally impressive, also winning all their matches. They defeated Colombia 34-6, Venezuela 61-8, Peru 59-0 and Paraguay 15-6 to advance to face Trinidad & Tobago. In doing so, Brazil had established themselves as South America´s genuine fourth best rugby country as they had moved ahead of Paraguay after also winning in the previous year.

The Regional Champions Playoff match was played over two matches in a home and away series. The winner would advance to play against Chile and Uruguay in Round 3A, also known as the 2009 South America Consur A Championship. The first match was held at Larry Gomes Stadium in Malabar, Trinidad with Brazil winning the match 31-8. This meant that Trinidad & Tobago not only needed to win the second match but also needed to defeat Brazil by at least 24 points to win on aggregate. The match was held at the Estádio ADC Parahyba in São José dos Campos, Brazil and attracted a home crowd of 12,000. Brazil did not disappoint their home supporters in winning the match 24-12. The match was shown on ESPN in Brazil, which was a huge breakthrough fir rugby in the country. The city of São José dos Campos is Brazil´s strongest rugby town. The local club regularly wins state and national championships and is the largest provider of test players for the national team.

Short Documentary in Portuguese

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