Monday, May 16, 2011

Uruguay and Chile win first round matches in South American Championship

The 33rd addition of the CONSUR Sudamericano Mayor A (South American A Championship) is underway following the opening round of games for the Cataratas Cup in the tournament being played in Puerto Iguazu, Misiones, Argentina. The tournament kicked off on Saturday with a match between the second ranked South American side and two time Rugby World Cup participants Uruguay and fifth ranked Paraguay. Of the twenty games played betweent he two sides, Uruguay have won nineteen with the only glitch being a 9-9 draw in 1985. In recent history Uruguay have well and truely dominated, having won every match by a minimum of 33 points in the past twenty years. Since France 2007, Uruguay have notched up wins of 85-7 in 2009 and 47-14 in 2010 but this weekends result eclipsed both as Los Teros ran wild notching up a massive 102-6 victory, the largest in the history of Uruguay and the first time Los Teros have scored 100 in a single match. The previous largest win came back in 1996 as Los Teros defeated Paraguay 93-3.

The 102-6 victory was a team effort with eleven players scoring tries. There was a star on the field, however, as Pablo Bueno scored four tries, three coming in the second half. Arturo Avalo and Alberto Román both scored two tries each while Diego Bascou, Ignacio Inchausti, Diego Magno, Leandro Leivas, Javier Ameglio and Ignacio Barcos also crossed for tries. Six of the tries were converted by Además Matías Arocena while Adrían Lewis kicked five conversions as well as scoring a try of his own. In total, Uruguay crossed for sixteen tries, eight in each half. Paraguay's six points were scored from the boot of Marcelo Renna who slotted two penalties. The match was refereed by Brazilian, Henrique Platais from Rio de Janeiro.

The rounds second match took place at the same venue 30 minutes after the completion of the first match. Of the eighteen matches played between Chile and Brazil Los Condores have won sixteen. Brazil's only victory was back in 1981 while the teams had a 16-16 draw in 1964. Chile were thus overwhelming favorites and expetced to win, albeit not by as much as Uruguay over Paraguay. The last time the teams met was in 2010 in Santiago with Chile notching up a 31-8 victory. This years match was similar with Chile winning 25-6 after holding an 8-0 half time lead. The first points came in the 17th minute with a penalty to flyhalf Benjamín Omega. A try thirteen minutes latter to Los Condores backrower, Ignacio Silva, rounded out the scoring of the first half. Despite failing to score, Brazil were playing an exciting brand of running rugby and taking to the Chileans. The Brazilians came close to scoring on more than one occassion only to lose control of the ball at crucial moments.

Chile started the secondhalf the better side and looked dangerous in the early minutes after the interval. Los Condores went over for a try in the forty-fourth minute scored by Alejandro Rios and converted by Omega which gave the Chileans a 15-0 lead. Brazil hit back with a penalty goal in the fifty-sixth minute to Julián Menutti as they continued to search for their first try. Chile, however, held firm and scored next through a penalty goal to Omega five minutes latter. As play continued to be evenly fought over by both countries, Brazil scored a second penalty in the sixty-third minute but again were unable to cross the try line. Chile's defense proved to be decisive and Los Condores 18-6 lead was increased with a try on fulltime to Matías Cabrera. With Benjamín Omega adding the extras, Chile completed a 25-6 victory which was well deserved but does not reflect the performance of Brazil. The game was refereed by Argentina's Mauro Rivera.

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