RWC 2015 qualifiers Uruguay dropped out of the top 20 in the World Rugby Rankings as a result of only their second defeat to Chile in 13 outings.
The 30-15 loss in Santiago cost Los Teros 1.47 rankings points and they are now almost half a point behind Spain, who replace them in 20th place.
Chile, meanwhile, have Portugal in their sights from a rankings persepctive after leapfrogging Belgium into 25th place. Only 0.06 of a ranking point separates Los Condores from the Iberian nation.
Earlier victories over Paraguay and Brazil meant that both Chile and Uruguay had already secured a top-two finish and qualification for next year’s CONSUR Cup going into Saturday’s decider.
It was Los Teros who drew first blood when centre Joaquín Prada finished off a fine team move to score with only four minutes on the clock. However, the early setback only served to galvanise the hosts who proceeded to score 23 points without reply.
Uruguay had held the lead for barely two minutes when centre Cristian Onetto got Los Condores back on level terms with a try that Javier Valderrama improved. Francisco Urroz then kicked a penalty and Valderrama added two more to put Chile firmly in command at 16-5.
Scrum-half Juan Pablo Perrotta scored Chile’s second try on 26 minutes and Valderrama made good the conversion before Uruguay pulled three points back on the stroke of half-time through the boot of Jeronimo Etcheverry.
Winger Italo Zunino scored Chile’s third try within three minutes of the restart and Valderrama’s conversion extended their advantage to 30-8.
Uruguay were finally rewarded for their dominance up front when, on the hour mark, they forced Chile to concede a penalty try after a series of collapsed scrums. Alejo Durán converted for a final scoreline of 30-15.
Los Teros will look to bounce back with an improved performance when they take on Argentina in the CONSUR Cup in Montevideo this coming Saturday.
Paraguay on the up
Paraguay secured third place in the South American Championship with a 20-11 win away to Brazil. The Brazilians must now beat CONSUR B champions Colombia in a play-off to remain in the four-team competition.
Los Yakares recovered from an 8-0 deficit to beat the Brazilians for the second year in a row thanks to a match-winning performance from Sergio Alvarengo. He converted his own try and Alejandro Montiel’s score early in the second half as well as kicking two penalties for a 15-point haul.
Paraguay are now the higher ranked of the two nations, moving up to 36th after a gain of 1.48 rankings points with Brazil dropping to 40th.
SOUTH AMERICAN CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS
April 11: Uruguay 77-3 Paraguay
April 18: Uruguay 48-9 Brazil; Paraguay 25-25 Chile
April 25: Chile 32-3 Brazil
May 9: Chile 30-15 Uruguay; Brazil 11-20 Paraguay
Photo credit: Maximiliano Aceiton / Fotogramax Sports