Paraguay win as Colombia cause an upset

(RUGBY WORLD CUP) Thursday 13 September 2012
Paraguay win as Colombia cause an upset
Paraguay beat Colombia on day one but both were victorious on day two - Photo: Carim Araujo

Paraguay lived up to their billing as favourites to win the South American B Championship title after powering past Peru 69-3 to remain unbeaten in the tournament which is part of the Rugby World Cup 2015 qualification process.

The Paraguayans, who dropped down from the top tier after falling to win a match in 2011, had beaten Colombia 54-17 last weekend and came storming back after conceding the first points of the match to a penalty from Peru fly half Gustavo Martínez.

Second row Jose Lezcano scored the first of Paraguay’s 11 tries within minutes before centre Rodrigo Llamosas, scrum half Gonzalo Bareiro, full back Hugo Chávez Ayala and second row Andrés Nasser touched down to give their side a 29-3 lead at half time.

The score remained that way for 12 minutes before Lezcano crossed for his second try of the match. Peru’s line was breached a further five times with Lezcano completing his hat-trick a minute before the final whistle.

Paraguay complete their campaign against hosts Venezuela on Saturday with only a defeat by a margin in excess of 50 points capable of denying them the title and a one-off play-off with Caribbean champions Bermuda on 29 September.

The match was expected to be a title decider between two unbeaten teams, but Venezuela were upset 26-3 by Colombia on Wednesday, a side that began the week 21 places below them in the IRB World Rankings.

Colombia established a 13-0 lead courtesy of a try by scrum half Juan Pamplona and a conversion and two penalties from the boot of Jose Manuel Diosa, and while they conceded a penalty on the stroke of half time, they never looked like surrendering their advantage.

Instead the lead was extended with fly half Emmanuel Bedoya kicking a drop goal either side of Diosa’s converted try in the final quarter to silence the home fans and set them up for their final match against Peru.