Saturday, April 20, 2013

Brazil 76-5 Mexico

Brazil´s quest to qualify for the Rugby World Cup is a long term goal with 2019 being the stated tournament in which Brazil whiches to make its debut on the global stage. With Brazil hosting the 2014 Olympic Games which will feature the debut of Rugby Sevens there has been termendous progress. The profile of Argentina on the global stage has also seen Brazils playing number boom which, in turn, has meant many more players are now available for international selection. It is hoped that sufficient players from the increased player base can be identified and prepared for the qualification series ahead of Rugby World Cup 2019.

While there are still four years until the South American section of qualification for Rugby World Cup 2019 begins it remains the priority. The investment in international coaches in a relationship with New Zealand Super Rugby franchise the Crusaders has been the Brazilian equivalent of Argentina´s High Performance program and the use of facilities in Pensacola, Florida. It means the chances of Brazil succeeding against the higher ranked Chile and Uruguay is more likely than ever before. In just seven days time Brazil will play its biggest test ever as it faces Chile at the Estadio German Becker in Temuco, Chile. It is the only match of the 2013 South American Championship which will not be played in Uruguay. 

Brazil´s performance against Mexico this afternoon was convincing on the scoreboard but was dominated by errors with Brazil actually having a real chance of scoring 100 points. Instead players forgot about the basic too often as tries were butchered on multiple occassions. Players tended to get ahead of themselves in searching for tries at every possible opportunity. It was a style of play that is vastly different to that of both Chile and Uruguay and one that could be complicated for both Los Condores and Los Teros. Brazil bllied the Mexican scrum but the chances of this repeating against the South American opponents are low. Neither Brazil nor Mexico have genuine secondrowers. Instead they use players out of position which means the scrum is significantly under strength. This is, in theory, playing into the hands of Chile and Uruguay which makes the clash between Brazil ad Chile all the more interesting. 

Brazil´s biggest weapon against Mexico was its backline as every time Brazil spun the ball it looked the breaking the line. Indeed many tries did come from linebreaks as did others from tight forward play. The only conern to come from the match was the second half injury suffered by Fernando Portugal. Brazil´s Rugby Sevens captain had to be taken to hospital after badly hurting his wrist and shoulder in a tackle. He is the most experienced Brazilian player and previously played two years as a professional in Italy. His loss will be significant.

To see video highlights of the match click here.

Remaining Qualification Fixtures in the Americas
April 27 Chile v Brazil, Temoco
May 1 Uruguay v Brazil, Montevideo
May 4 Uruguay v Chile, Montevideo
August 17 USA v Canada, Charleston
August 24 Canada v USA, Toronto

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