Sunday, June 22, 2014

IRB Nations Cup: Russia v Uruguay Highlights

The final team to qualify for Rugby World Cup 2015 will enter Pool A and face the daunting prospect of taking on both Wales and England at home and also playing Australia. Qualifying for the tournament is therefore going to be bittersweet but it is, nonetheless, the ultimate goal of both Russia and Uruguay. The South Americans will enter the Final Place Play-Off home and away series after winning the IRB Nations Cup contest earlier today in Bucharest. 

Both Russia and Uruguay have qualified for repercharge and are highly likely to meet in the Final Place Play-Off. For this to happen  Los Teros need to defeat Hong Kong in Montevideo and Russia needs a win over the runner-up of Kenya, Madagascar, Namibia and Zimbabwe. 

In their IRB Nations Cup clash played earlier today it was the South Americans who came out on top. Uruguay's 13-6 win was notably without many professional players. Los Teros' players based abroad are to take to the field against Hong Kong and, if successful, then Russia or Africa 2. 

Since Rugby World Cup 2011 the form of the Russian team has been concerning. The side that qualified for a first ever Rugby World Cup appears notably different to the team that has taken to the field in subsequent years. Russia was thoroughly outplayed by Emerging Ireland in round one of the IRB Nations Cup and has dropped a number of test matches that go beyond logical explanation. 

Against Uruguay in Bucharest the Russians were unable to deliver. The form of the team was underwhelming as Uruguay was able to respond to a 6-0 deficit. Joaquín Prada got Uruguay on the board with a penalty before he only try of the match was scored by second-rower Cristofer Soares de Lima. Prada added the conversion and kicked a further penalty to see the South Americans win the match by seven points to the delight of Headcoach Pablo Lemoine.

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