Uruguayan Teros celebrate after defeating Russia in Montevideo. Photo: IRB
After the mandatory celebration that went well into the small hours of Sunday morning, the Uruguayan Teros will take a very short break before setting themselves new goals ahead of their third appearance at the Rugby World Cup in England next year.
Uruguay played seven matches on the road to England 2015: they beat Brazil and Chile to claim the South American place and earn the right to play against the loser of Canada v USA.
Uruguay celebrate after securing their berth to join England, Australia, Wales and Fiji in Pool A of the 2015 England tournament. Photo: Planet Rugby
Uruguay staged a second half comeback to book their place at next year’s Rugby World Cup, defeating Russia 57-49 on aggregate.
The hosts became the 20th and final team to book their place in England next year. Los Teros will join Australia, England, Wales and Fiji in Pool A of the world’s biggest Rugby tournament.
Russia’s Yuri Kushnarev is defended by Uruguay’s Santiago Vilaseca. Photo: IRB
Russia will take the narrowest of leads with them to Montevideo in two weeks’ time after they beat Uruguay 22-21 in Saturday’s first leg of the final Rugby World Cup 2015 qualifier in Krasnoyarsk.
However, while no team likes to lose a game of rugby, Uruguay’s Pablo Lemoine will probably be the more satisfied of the two coaches as his side is still very much in contention at what is effectively half-time.
Uruguay in winning action against Hong Kong in front of 5,000 fans in Montevidio. Photo: IRB
For a third consecutive Rugby World Cup Uruguay has secured a place in the winner-takes-all repechage final of the qualifying process, after earning the right to play against Russia for a place in Pool A in next year’s showpiece.
Their 28-3 win at the Charrúa Stadium against Hong Kong was not easy and only in the final quarter, with the visitors jaded, did Los Teros manage to score two tries to take the solid win.
Hong Kong, who had to travel 26 hours to reach the eastern shore of the River Plate, struggled towards the end of the game with the intensity of the Uruguayan defence. They also had to play 20 minutes with 14 players due to two second-half yellow cards, all of which combined to end their World Cup dream.
Vasily Artemyev had a hand in a couple of Russia’s tries in their win over Zimbabwe – Photo: Masha Anderson, IRB
Vasily Artemyev had a hand in a couple of Russia’s tries in their win over Zimbabwe – Photo: Masha Anderson
Russia remain in the hunt for the final place at Rugby World Cup 2015 after beating Zimbabwe 23-15 in their Repechage semi-final in Krasnoyarsk on Saturday.
The Bears, bidding to reach a second consecutive tournament, will now face the winner of the match later today in Montevideo between Uruguay and Hong Kong for the right to join hosts England, Australia, Wales and Fiji in Pool A at RWC 2015.
Uruguay last took part in the 2003 RWC in Australia. Photo: IRB
This weekend Uruguay face Hong Kong in the Rugby World Cup 2015 repechage semi-finals knowing that this stage in the qualifying competition represents the last chance saloon.
On the other side of the world Russia host Zimbabwe in another one-off tie, with the winner of both matches proceeding to a home-and-away final, the winner of which will join Australia, England, Wales and Fiji in an extremely competitive Pool A at England 2015.
“I have always said that the most difficult part in getting to a World Cup is the actual process of qualifying,” Uruguay’s head coach Pablo Lemoine told Total Rugby.
Arch-rivals Krasny Yar (in green) and Yenisey-STM battle it out for Krasnoyarsk’s bragging rights. Photo: IRB
The choice of England as the host nation for next year’s Rugby World Cup is a fitting one, as it is of course the birthplace of the game. There is a good sense of continuity after the 2011 edition in New Zealand, as the Land of the Long White Cloud is considered one of the sport’s great heartlands. There is a sense of the battle for the Webb Ellis Cup moving from one side of the world to the other.
The southern Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk may not be the geographical halfway point between Eden Park and Twickenham but it is not too far from it at nearly 8,000 miles from Auckland and almost 4,500 miles from London. So, perhaps it is apt that the Russian city is to play host to the Rugby World Cup 2015 qualifier between Russia and Zimbabwe with a place in the repechage final against either Uruguay or Hong Kong up for grabs.
Krasnoyarsk is a city that represents the love and passion for rugby outside the traditional strength of Europe’s Six Nations and the southern hemisphere hotbeds of New Zealand, South Africa, Australia and Argentina. Irish rugby fans may be somewhat familiar with the city as it played host to Ireland in 2002 as part of the qualification process for Rugby World Cup 2003.