Monday, November 14, 2011

Uruguay too good for Portugal in Lisbon

Despite having a tough match vs Los Jaguares in Buenos Aires earlier this month, Uruguay have shown that the country´s rugby team, Los Teros, indeed intends on returning to Rugby World Cup action as the South Americans defeated Portugal 16-9 on Sunday. The forgotten team of World Cup rugby, Uruguay have had a rough period over the previous eight years. Despite having defeated Georgia comfortably in Rugby World Cup 2003 and Spain four years earlier, the South American country has been poorly funded by the IRB and has been unable to play barely as many matches as have comparable rugby nations such as Namibia and Portugal. Uruguay´s short end of the stick means the side not only rarely tours but also has a tough time in hosting touring sides. Rugby World Cup repercharge qualification aside, Los Teros have only hosted South American opponents in recent years.

Neither team was at absolute full strength as both were missing some players to club duty such as Rodrigo Capó Ortega (Castres) and Julien Bardy (Clermont). There were to be no excuses, however, as all players on the field had an important test match with IRB World Rankings on the line. Matías Arocena was a key performer for Los Teros as he kicked two first half penalties to match the home side as the scores were locked at 6-6 midway through the match. Uruguay´s dominance at scrumtime proved to be the major difference between the two sides and when backrower, Juan Diego Ormaechea went over for a secondhalf try the South Americans all but had the game in the bag. Arocena also had an impressive secondhalf as he converted Ormaechea´s try in addition to slotting a dropgoal. All of Portugal´s points game through the boot with Carl Murray kicking three penalties for os Lobos. The significance of the win cannot be overlooked as it puts Uruguay back into the official World´s Top twenty as Los Teros rise three places to 19th in the IRB World Rankings ahead of both Namibia and Russia.

Uruguay´s impressive win over Portugal is another reminder of the error that the IRB has made in distributing teams for Rugby World Cup qualification. While Uruguay and Portigal have to face second tier opposition including the likes of Georgia, Romania, Russia and the USA, Namibia have qualified for the previous four events after only having faced third tier African opposition. Perhaps Uruguay´s victory in Lisbon can influence the qualification path for Rugby World Cup 2015 which will be hosted by England. The match also underlines the need for such matches to be played with far greater regularity. The same can be said of games between Uruguay and Spain. Uruguay´s tour continues with a match vs Spain in Madrid on Saturday. The sides have met on six occassiosn throughout history with both sides have won three times each. The last time they met was in 2007 with Spain winning 18-10 in Montevideo. Should Los Teros be able to defeat Spain then Uruguay may be able to rise even higher in the IRB World Rankings, ahead of Romania.


  1. I think Uruguay would benefit if Argentina got a professional league as I think some players could perhaps play in it

    the Uruguayans don't have many pro players at the minute, whilst a few year ago there was Bado, Lemoine, Capo Ortega and Brignoni all professional

    this match should have been played in February in my opinion so Portugal could have their professionals, I would probably back Portugal to win with Bardy, Uva and Gardner

    what was the score by the way?

  2. Uruguay won 16-9

    There are some Uruguayan players in the URBA Top 14 but not many and certainly not enough. Hopefully Buenos Aires does get a Super Rugby team in 2014 and Los Pampas XV is also added as the team from the interior. This is being talked about as getting the green light. I think its a great idea but I do want Argentina´s national championship to be expanded to involve more games and be, in the least, a semi professional league involving players from neighbouring country such as Uruguay.