Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Uruguay pushed hard by Brazil

Round two of the 2011 South American Rugby Championship took place today in the Argentine city of Puerto Iguazú and featured South America´s sides ranked 2-5. It proved to be an unpredictable day but one that continues to underline the future of the sport in the continent. Paraguay had a second unforgetable match aftet going down by a record margin on Saturday vs Uruguay with Chile notching up a very impressive 71-3 victory. Paraguay had been palying quite well in the early stages of the contest but were blown away as the game continued, especially in the second half. Los Condores will now finish first or second depending on their final match.

Ther real talking point, however, was the second match played between Brazil and Uruguay with Los Teros looking to show who is boss. The two time Rugby World Cup country of Uruguay were given a very tough match and had to come from behind against the rapidly improving Brazilians. The Portuguese speaking country´s performance was simply amazing and with 20 minutes left on the clock it looked like the upset of the century could be on the cards. Uruguay held a 20-18 lead but got home with a superb final 20 minutes to win the match 39-18.

Brazil were the first team to score with Juli Menutti slotting a drop goal in the 11th minute. Los Teros responded with a penalty of their own in the 25th minute to make the scores 3-3. Brazil had been the more willing team to play open rugby with Uruguay preferring to fall back on its more traditional approach of playing a forwards game. It eventually paid off for Brazil with long timer serving winger, Daniel Gregg scoring the first try of the match in the 36th minute. Gregg failed to convert his own try but Brazil were ahead 8-3 and looking good. Brazil had a tough day with the referee and it proved costly. Uruguay were able to turn the game around thanks to slotting three penalties and a try right at the end of the half to Gaminara to go ahead 17-8 at the interval. Like in the first half, Brazil started as the stronger side with João Luiz da Ros scoring an early try which was converted to cut the deficit to 17-15. Both sides slotted a penalty goal a piece to make put the game on a knives-edge at 20-18 in favor of Uruguay with 20 minutes remaining. the experience of Uruguay was a lesson for the Brazilians as Uruguay were able to control the remainder of the game and make Brazil give away penalties and thus control possession and territory.

Uruguay´s three tries in the final 20 minutes did not do justice to the flow of the game which was a genuine even contest until Los Teros broke clear firstly with a try to Leiva then a penalty try and finally a try to Pablo Buenos on full time. Buenos´try underlined his importance to Los Teros after he had scored 4 tries vs Paraguay on Saturday.

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