IRB Nations Cup
Romania flattered to deceive as they edged out Uruguay 10-6 in the final match of the first day's action at the IRB Nations Cup 2008 in Bucharest.
After the passion of the match Italy A v Russia and the drama of the Georgia v Emerging South Africa, the third match of the inaugural day of the Nations Cup between Uruguay and Romania was always going to struggle to reach those heights.
It started with a bang, with the veteran Romanian flanker Florin Corodeanu breaking out from a maul to brush off a couple of tackles to score near the posts. The Romanian fullback Florin Vlaicu added two more points with his conversion. A few moments later Vlaicu duly slotted a penalty to suggest a possible walkover win for the Romanians. And that was it.
No further meaningful Romanian attack, no forays into the opposition territory near the Uruguay line, no clear-cut scoring opportunities. Suddenly, Uruguay, quite lethargic in the early stages, turned the afterburners on and attacked with the ball in hand.
The first half ended with Romania leading 10-0, and the match finished with Uruguay coming from behind to score two late penalties through fly half Matias Arrocena to snatch an improbable bonus point for a losing margin of less than seven points.
Gustavo Zerbino President Uruguay Rugby Union
"I am very proud of the boys. They played surprisingly well after a long break. We could and should have won this match, but we improved as the match went on and with a few more players arriving this week, we can do well in the next match, though Georgia are a formidable team."
Uruguay Captain Juan Campomar
"It was a good game for us, in the sense that we were in the game and we could have won it. We knew that Romania was a strong team, having played at all RWC tournaments to date. The match against Georgia will be very difficult, as they have made great progress."
Romanian captain Costica Mersoiu
"We played relatively well in the first half, but we relaxed in the second half and that showed in the end. We have returned to the national team after a break of about three months and we hope to improve for the next match. Russia, who beat us the last time have improved a lot and we want to do well against them."
Ellis Meachen - Head Coach Romania
"We have not played as we have agreed beforehand, in other words we did not play according to our game plan. We made too many unforced errors. It is good that we won, but we must improve our game. It is very disappointing the manner we won this match."