Friday, September 7, 2012

CONSUR B World Cup Qualification set to start

The Venezuelan city of Valencia will come under the rugby spotlight this weekend as it plays host to the first section of South American qualification for Rugby World Cup 2015. Joining Venezuela will be Colombia, Paraguay and Peru. The tournament can be described as little more than a brief cut down version of a competition. It is to be played exclusively in Valencia with the four participating teams playing two matches in four days. There are no return matches. It is a one off. The only way to advance is to win and the prize is to take on Brazil and then advance to face Chile and Uruguay in the South American finals. The winner of that will face the runner-up of Canada and the USA for a place in Rugby World Cup 2015. The loser will have a second chance to qualify via repercharge. A tough road as Uruguay know well after 2007 and 2011. While the winner of CONSUR B will advance the three other countries will be eliminated. None of the countries have realistic chances of making a debut appearance in England 2015 as the difference in quality between CONSUR A to CONSUR B is large. 

Paraguay is the highest ranked of the four participating countries. It is currently 40th in the world and is in CONSUR B after being overtaken by Brazil in recent years. Previously Paraguay had been a permanent member of CONSUR A. It is not, however, a clear favorite to win the qualification series in Venezuela. The large gaps in the IRB World Rankings between the teams is not a fair guide to the abilities of the four teams. Ranked 53rd is the Venezuela who is well ahead of Colombia in 74th and also Peru in 63rd. Venezuela won the 2011 South American B Championship while Peru won in 2010 and Colombia in 2009.  

Match Schedule
September 09 Paraguay v Colombia
September 09 Venezuela v Peru

September 12 Final (Winner 1 v Winner 2)
September 12 Bronze Final (Loser 1 v Loser 2)

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