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.
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.
Fiji celebrates a recent win in Hong Kong. Photo: rugbywrapup
Fiji will win its first Olympic Games medal in Rio de Janeiro, says IRB chief executive Brett Gosper.
“Fiji will surprise the world but not us (IRB) if they win their country’s first-ever Olympic medal,” Gosper said when questioned what nations will surprise when rugby sevens will be included for the first time in the biggest global sporting event.
Gosper was fielding questions from rugby followers on Olympic Day on Tuesday and he believes the sport will be a big hit in Rio.