One point takes Portugal to France
Saturday 24th March 2007
Portugal have become the last team to qualify for the 2007 Rugby World Cup. It is their first time ever to do so but it took a thriller and in the end a single point was enough. Uruguay who have been to the last two World Cups were their own worst enemies, paying the price for indiscipline. Uruguay won the second leg of the World Cup qualifier in Montevideo 18-12 but Portugal had won the first leg 12-5. They thus won overall 24-23. By one point! That point is enough to take the Lobos to France and means grave disappointment for the Teros who will stay at home. In Lisbon Portugal had been leading 12-0 when Uruguay scored a last-minute try to make the score 12-5. That meant that Portugal took a seven-point cushion to Montevideo. On Saturday the Teros scored two tries, the Lobos none. After just two minutes Uruguay had lock Juan Bado red-carded, sent off for foul play. That meant that for almost all the match the Teros played with only 14 men. Nonetheless Uruguay took the lead through penalties by Juan Menchaca and Diego Aguirre but then Portugal levelled matters with penalties by Duarte Pinto and Joao. Then just before half time lock Marcelo Dorey was sent to the sin bin. With Portugal down to 14 men at the start of the second half, Uruguay took an 11-6 lead with a try will Portugal scored two more penalties to lead 12-11 with 25 minutes to play - 25 tense minutes. The powerful Uruguayan pack mauled over the line for a try which took them to 18-12. That gave Portugal there point overall lead but with 13 minutes to play, and that is how the score stayed as injury time dragged on and agonisingly on.
Scorers: For Portugal: Pens: Duarte Pinto 4 For Uruguay: Tries: Crosa, Capo Con: Menchaca Pens: Menchaca, Aguirre
Teams: Uruguay: 15 Juan Menchaca, 14 Juan Labat, 13 Diego Aguirre, 12 Joaquin Pastore, 11 Martín Crosa, 10 Sebastian Aguirre, 9 Juan Campomar, 8 Nicolas Brignoni, 7 Nicolas Grille, 6 Alfredo Giuria, 5 Rodrigo Capo, 4 Juan Bado, 3 Pablo Lemoine, 2 Juan Andres Perez, 1 Rodrigo Sanchez Replacements: 16 Guillermo Storace, 17 Federico Capo, 18 Carlos Arboleya, 19 Juan Miguel Alvarez, 20 Rafael Alvarez, 21 Juan Martín Llovet, 22 Nicolas Morales Coaches: Nicolas Inciarte, Mario Lame
Portugal: 15 Pedro Leal, 14 Diogo Gama, 13 Miguel Portela, 12 Diogo Mateus, 11 Pedro Carvalho, 10 Duarte Pinto, 9 Luis Pissarra, 8 Vasco Uva, 7 Joao Uva, 6 Juan Serveriño, 5 Marcelo Dorey, 4 Gonzalo Uva, 3 Joaquin Ferreira, 2 Joao Correta, 1 André Lourenzo Replacements: 16 Rui Cordeiro, 17 Duarte Figueredo, 18 David Penalva, 19 Diogo Coutinho, 20 Paulo Murinello, 21 José Pinto, 22 Goncalo Malheiro Coach: Tomaz Morais Referee: Tony Spreadbury Touch judges: Roy Maybank, Robin Goodliffe