Uruguay ended their World Rugby u20 Trophy with a decisive 34-12 win over Namibia in the Bronze Final at the Estadio Charrúa on Sunday. The five-tries-to-two performance caps what has been an excellent tournament for the Teritos and one that leaves them wondering ‘what if?’ – with their only slip-up a 20-18 loss to Portugal in the opening round.
The set piece has been a hallmark of Uruguay’s success throughout and a scrum won against the head set up the opening try for Santiago Civetta. Namibia conceded a penalty and the Teritos opted for a put-in over their own and made it look easy, walking over the line as their opponents disintegrated.
Despite the abominable conditions Uruguay did their best to play positive rugby. Martín Fitipaldo entered the line and nearly broke clean through. The speedy winger was halted but after a couple pick-and-go phases from in close Guillermo Pujadas forced his way over with help from front row mate Agustín Sosa.
With the Teritos knocking on the door and looking odds-on for another score Cliven Loubser stretched an arm out and picked off a pass inside his own 22, racing more than 80 metres down the pitch to score completely against the run of play. The flyhalf converted his own try to make it a one-score game.
It looked as though that score might carry through to the half but Loubser’s opposite had other ideas. With the Teritos on attack Juan Martín Cattivelli opted for a snap drop goal and somehow got the bounce right in the muck to send it over the crossbar.
Namibia were still in the game early in the second half and again it was by virtue of a Uruguayan mistake. Juan Nicola’s box kick attempt was charged down and after several attempts at the goal line big lock Adriaan Ludick reached over the ruck to dot the ball down and close the gap to only three.
That would be as close as they could get, however, as Uruguay controlled the rest of the match. The scrum walked over for a second Civetta try and then a lovely cross-kick from Cattivelli found its target in the form of Fitipaldo. The final act of the game would see replacement hooker Matías Aboy adding one more try, with Alejo Piazza’s third conversion bringing an end to proceedings.
So closes a very positive competition for the Teritos who have been arguably the tournament’s most impressive team outside of the calamitous opening weekend. That the home town fans did not get to see them play against Japan is a shame. Namibia should be pleased with their showing overall though they ran out of steam in the end.
Tries – C. Loubser (29′), A. Ludick (43′)
Cons – C. Loubser 1/2 (29′)
Yellow cards – J. Basson (78′)
Tries – S. Civetta 2 (3′, 53′), G. Pujadas (18′), M. Fitipaldo (65′), M. Aboy (80′)
Cons – A. Piazza 3/5 (19′, 54′, 80′)
Drop goals – J. Cattivelli (33′)
Yellow cards – J. McCubbin (69′)
1 Andre Rademeyer, 2 Obert Nortje, 3 Nelius Theron, 4 Adriaan Ludick, 5 LeBeau du Preez, 6 Oderich Mouton, 7 Prince Gaoseb (capt.), 8 Riaan de Klerk, 9 Wihan von Wielligh, 10 Cliven Loubser, 11 Marco Beukes, 12 Tristan Mouton, 13 Alastair Miller, 14 Andre van der Berg, 15 PW Steenkamp
Replacements: 16 JT Basson, 17 Patrick Schickerling, 18 Rheinhardt Carelse, 19 Tjingairi Katjivi, 20 JC Olivier, 21 Brandon Groenewald, 22 Collins Omalu
1 Agustín Sosa, 2 Yamandú Arburúas, 3 Guillermo Pujadas, 4 Joaquín García, 5 Manuel Leindekar, 6 Manuel Ardao, 7 James McCubbin, 8 Santiago Civetta, 9 Juan Nicola, 10 Juan Martín Cattivelli, 11 Martín Fitipaldo, 12 Agustín Della Corte (capt.), 13 Manuel Portela, 14 Valentin Grille, 15 Alejo Piazza
Replacements: 16 Jaime Coll, 17 Matías Aboy, 18 Ignacio Peculo, 19 Martín Darracq, 20 Marcos Pastore, 21 Juan Manuel Fernández, 22 Juan Francisco Medeiros
Referee: Stephen Copeman (HKRFU)