Sunday, November 14, 2010

Uruguay 21-21 Romania in RWC Final Place Playoff

Yesterday afternoon Uruguay hosted Romania in the first of two matches to determine who will join the 19 other countries as the final participant at Rugby World Cup 2011. Montevideo put on fine weather and the fans flocked into Estadio Charrúa to see the biggest match for Los Teros since 2007.  With the overall winner on aggregate going through to New Zealand 2011 to join Argentina, England, Georgia and Scotland in Pool B it was simply a must win for both teams. Yet after 80 minutes the scores were tied at 21 all and now the teams have two to prepare for the winner take all rematch at the stadionul National Arcul de Triumf in Bucharest, Romania.

The match could perhaps best summed up as a game between two teams with two theories - oldschool rugby and postmodernist rugby. Romania used their forwards endlessly and it did work. They scored tries following extended periods of battering the Los Teros try line. Uruguay, in contrast, continued to play what has been a revolutionary style of rugby for Uruguay - the running rugby introduced by Teros coach and former Pumas winger Gonzalo Camardón. Despite not having the best players all playing, Camardón has transformed what previously was a team playing damage prevention rugby to one scoring impressive tries. As documented here on Rugby World Cup - Argentina 2023 an ongoing dispute between the URU and 2008 Uruguayan champions, Carrasco Polo has complicated matters dramatically for Los Teros with players boycotting selection for Los Teros. The greatest player the country has ever produced, Rodrigo Capó Ortega left the club over eight years ago but also remains out of the Uruguayan team due to the feud. In his place the most experienced player is backrower, Nicolás Brignoni who after only seven minutes of the first half vs Romania had to leave injured.

Romanian flyhalf Dan Dumbrava had a good match and had the Oaks leading 9-0 in the first half following forward domination from the visitors. It would be Los Teros, however, who scored the first try - a beautiful try to wing Ignacio Mieres who entered the line from the blindside in a set move and linked with fellow Teros wing Leandro Leivas and then received a return pass to score. Romania responded with phases of pick and go from the forwards as they camped on Los Teros try line. Backrower Alexandru Manta scored to give Romania a 14-5 half time lead.

Los Teros flyhalf Matías Arocena slotted two penalties early in the second half to cut the lead to three points before Romania scored their second try which again was on the back of foward power as prop Bogdan Balan scored a try near the touchline. With Dumbrava´s conversion the Oaks were out to a 10 point lead. Uruguay responded with smart play from scrumhalf Manuel Martínez  giving the ball width which resulted in  Leivas scoring a try in the far corner. With Arocena’s conversion, the lead was cut to three and after more attacking play the hosts were awarded a penalty which Arocena slotted to leve the scores at 21-21. Romania had the chance to win late in the game but failed to do so.

Uruguay had a strong crowd of over 10,000 supporters. The IRB must be called upon to ensure Uruguay recieve more games like this. Today´s match marked the first European side to visit since France 2007. The likes of Canada, Fiji, Georgia, Japan, Portugal, Russia, Samoa, Spain, Tonga and the USA should all visit Uruguay between now and Rugby World Cup 2015 and should do so in organized tours which include tests against the likes of Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Paraguay. South America is the only continent whose champion during Rugby World Cup Qualification does not advance to the Rugby World Cup. Rather South America 1 - Uruguay had to face North America 2 which was the USA. Today´s match is a further indication that the region merits an automatic qualifier. Every other region have one or more automatic qualifier.

With thanks and 


  1. Damn! I hope Uruguay can win the rematch.

    Do you have video highlights?

  2. I will add a video when one becomes avaliable. So far there is nothing from the match on youtube or dailymotion.