Uruguay grab final RWC spot

2014-10-11 22:43
RWC 2015 (Getty Images)

Montevideo - Uruguay beat Russia 36-27 in Montevideo on Saturday to snatch the last qualification spot for the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England.

Although they lost the first leg in Moscow 22-21, the South Americans got the result they needed to qualify for their first World Cup since 2003.

They will now line up in a daunting Pool A alongside the hosts, twice former winners Australia, Wales and Fiji.

Although the winning margin seemed comfortable, it was anything but as Uruguay turned around at the break trailing 17-12.

Flyhalves Felipe Berchesi and Iurii Kushnarev traded penalties as every time one team closed in on the opposing tryline, the other side infringed.

But at 12-12, a quickly taken tap penalty from Kushnarev allowed Aleksandr Ianushkin to dive over in the corner and give Russia the lead at half-time.

Kushnarev landed a penalty soon after the restart to push Russia's lead out to 20-12 but that heralded a period of Uruguayan domination in which the hosts scored 21 unanswered points.

Joaquin Prada broke several tackles inside the Russian 22 to go under the posts, with Berchesi converting.

Uruguay then got a rumbling maul going close to the Russian line and Alejo Corral touched down to give them the lead. Again Berchesi notched the extras.

Russia pressed the self-destruct button as their fullback knocked on just five yards from their own line and from the resulting scrum, the ball was spun out to Augustin Ormaechea to scythe over.

Berchesi's conversion pushed their lead out to 33-20 and when winger Denis Simplikevich was sent to the sin-bin for a late aerial challenge, Russia's hopes appeared to have gone up in smoke.

Yet almost immediately, Vasiliy Artemyev dived over in the corner and Kushnarev scored the tricky conversion, leaving Russia a converted try away from winning the game.

But Berchesi scored his fifth penalty to seal Uruguay's third appearance at the finals.

Read more on:    russia  |  uruguay  |  rwc 2015  |  rugby

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