Uruguay kept their qualification dreams for Rugby World Cup 2019 alive with a 27-11 victory over long-time rivals Chile on Saturday which saw them crowned Sudamérica Rugby A Championship 2017 winners.
Los Teros' latest victory over Chile means they progress to the Americas 2 play-off, where they will face either Canada or USA home and away for a place in Pool D at Japan 2019 alongside Australia, Wales, Georgia and the as yet unknown Oceania 1 qualifier.
Canada and USA meet in the Americas 1 play-off on 24 June and 1 July with the winner booking their ticket to the World Cup and the loser to face Uruguay.
On a cold and grey afternoon in Uruguay's capital Montevideo, there was sufficient cause for celebration for the 7,500 loud spectators at the Estadio Charrua as Los Teros continued on the road to Japan 2019 and also confirmed their dominance over Chile in qualifying matches for Rugby World Cup, having come out on top in every process since 1993.
Los Teros, led by flanker Juan Manuel Gaminara, dominated the match thank to their superior scrum and their well-structured game-plan saw them cross for two tries in the first half.
In only the fourth minute, with the forwards pushing Los Cóndores back in the first scrum, space was created for centre Andrés Vilaseca to break and, when challenged, he passed inside to Felipe Berchesi for the fly-half to score under the posts to give himself an easy conversion.
A perfect way to bow out
Despite Uruguay's dominance, it wasn’t until the 16th minute that the home crowd had cause to celebrate again when winger Leandro Leivas won the ball in the air following a chip over the defence from his scrum-half Agustín Ormaechea. The try was scored in the right corner but Berchesi atoned for two earlier penalty misses by adding the conversion.
Chile never gave in and attacked with determination, but were always met with a solid defensive wall which refused to give them any try-scoring opportunities so the first half ended with Uruguay leading 20-0 after Berchesi added two penalties.
Soon after the break, Chile missed a penalty kick and they were made to pay when full-back Rodrigo Silva scored after a scrum that moved forward with Berchesi taking the score out to 27-0 and effectively killing off the match.
That try stoked the Chilean pride and their centre Francisco de la Fuente finallly managed to find a way through the Uruguay defence, before Francisco González and Francisco Urroz each added a penalty. It was nothing more than consolation, though, as Uruguay had long since wrapped up the victory.
The day before Brazil bid farewell to their veteran hooker Daniel Danielewicz in perfect fashion with an emphatic 57-6 defeat of Paraguay in Sao Paulo, scoring eight unanswered tries to wrap up third place in the Championship once again.
Matias Daniel scored two of Brazil's tries with the Sancery twins, Daniel and Felipe, both getting their names on the scoresheet as try-scorers alongside Stefano Giantorno, Josh Reeves and Lucas Duque. Moises Duque converted seven of Brazil's eight tries in the win.
Photo credit: URU