South American encounter will light up JWC
By Oscar Jimenez
The IRB TOSHIBA Junior World Championship 2009 will play host to a South American derby on matchday two and it promises to be full of Latino flavour as the two Rio de la Plata’s rugby nations, Uruguay and Argentina, meet in Nagoya.
With a rich tradition between the two nations, Argentina and Uruguay are both ready for the challenge that will establish who will come out on top in this South American Under 20 encounter.
The two nations are always prevailing at any semi finals in the South American Championships and last year, at the Under 19 Tournament played in Cordoba, the Pumitas and the Teritos contested a close match, with Argentina edging out Uruguay 15-9.
Many of the Under 20 players currently in Japan were present at that match including both captains, Santiago Guzman for Argentina and Juan Diego Ormaechea of Uruguay, playing in November.
Every time the two nations meet in any match the teams view it as the most important in the world, but in Japan on Tuesday, Argentina and Uruguay will arrive with plenty more reasons to win an already significant match.
Argentina, beaten 16-9 by Ireland on the opening day, have a lot of pressure to record a victory to recover their hopes for the rest of the tournament, while Uruguay, relaxed after the big challenge of facing defending champions New Zealand on their debut, will expect to play better rugby with their well known older rugby brother.
“All of our players are eager to play this game, we know Argentina very well. We want to beat them at least one time in history,” said Uruguay co-coach Bruno Grunwaldt.
Grunwaldt also expects this match to be completely different from when the Under 19 sides met in November.
“I don’t think that Tuesday’s match will be the same as the one that we played last year. We are now in a World Cup so the atmosphere is different. We do not think too much about the rival, in this case, we are trying to play our game.
“We came here to give experience to the players and hoping that they play well, which is our goal. We do not want to change and depend only on our strategy to beat Argentina.”
South American style
His Argentina counterpart Eduardo Fernandez Gill added: “For Argentina it is an honour to play against Uruguay in this World Cup. We are very happy to play against a team who played bravely against New Zealand on Friday.
”We love the fact that this will be a game of true South American style, between teams that make a game special. It is not a game against a northern hemisphere team or New Zealand or Australia and that fact makes the game special.
“Argentina has an obligation for victory but the match will be hard to win. Uruguay are a very well coached team, with a very good generation of players. It will be tight and highly contested for the full 80 minutes.”
On Tuesday, the Mizuho Rugby Ground in Nagoya will be dressed in blue and white as the national colours of Argentina and Uruguay will be on display.
Flags carried by fans arriving from South America, plus the enthusiastic local fans that are getting familiar with the teams visiting Nagoya, will add the colour and noise for the one of the most interesting matches on the second day of the Championship.
** Watch the Pool A matches in Nagoya live and on-demand for free on Tuesday 9 June. First up will be the all-South American affair between Argentina and Uruguay at 17:00 local time, followed by Ireland against defending champions New Zealand at 19:00. **
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