Thursday, October 9, 2014

CONSUR C: El Salvador and Guatemala win round two matches

After two rounds of the 2014 CONSUR C tournament in Panama City Guatemala is the only undefeated participant. On  Wednesday Guatemala defeated the host nation, Panama, while an upset result, in which Costa Rica was beaten by El Salvador, places Guatemala in a strong position to complete a history making CONSUR C tournament victory. The third and final round of the competition will take place on Saturday.  

In name CONSUR C is the third tier competition of South American rugby. CONSUR is the governing body of rugby in the continent of South America but, in actuality, it oversees rugby in all of Latin America South of Mexico. The four nations involved in the CONSUR C event this year are Central American republics and members of CONSUR not NACRA. 

The 2013 event featured Ecuador as the only non-Central American side and, by virtue of winning, it qualified for the CONSUR B tournament which took place recently in Colombia. In place of Ecuador Panama is involved in the 2014 event while there are others, including Honduras and Nicarágua, waiting in the wings as rugby continues to expand in the region.

CONSUR C this year is, in other words, the Central American Four Nations Championship.  Of the four involved Costa Rica could be said to be the favorite. The country has previous experience in the CONSUR B event but the chances of winning the current tournament in Panama now appear clouded following a second round loss against Los Torogoces of El Salvador.

Los Torogoces started very strongly to hold a first half advantage of 17-0. The early stranglehood on the lead saw Los Ticos of Costa Rica forced to fight back to complete an unlikely win. Costa Rica indeed pushed hard but the lack of concentration early on cost them as El Salvador completed a 24-14 victory.

In the second match of round two, also played on Wednesday, Guatemala completed a perfect start by winning their second match. The hard-fought 24-19 victory over Panama means Guatemala is now on course for a history-making CONSUR C championship title. Guatemala, or Los Jaguares, held an impressive early 24-0 advantage but Los Diablos Rojos (Panama) fought back to come withint one try of winning.

Round three will ake place on Saturday with Guatemala taking-on Costa Rica while El Salvador will face Panama. A draw is going to be sufficient for Guatemala to wrap-up the championship. None of the four countries are listed on the IRB World Rankings. They are, nonetheless, listed on the expanded World Rankings by Rugby Redefined, which has an expanded list of 155 member nations.

The rankings are well worth looking at alone to comprehend the extent of El Salvador's victory over Costa Rica. Rugby Dedefined lists Costa Rica as 71st, Guatemala as 129th, El Salvador as 152nd and Panama as 138th. Notable changes are therefore expected when the rankings are updated.

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