Nations Cup Wrap: Uruguay clinch title

Date published: June 19 2017

Uruguay were crowned Nations Cup champions for the first time in their history after defeating Spain 24-14 at Estadio Charrua in Montevideo.

Earlier in the day, Russia pipped Argentina XV to second place courtesy of their 31-10 bonus-point victory over Namibia. Argentina’s 15-0 win over Emerging Italy was not enough as they finished third.

Namibia, Spain and Emerging Italy finished fourth, fifth and sixth respectively.

Russia secured second place with a 31-10 bonus-point victory over Namibia in the first of three games at Estadio Charrua in Montevideo.

Winger Denis Simplikevich gave Russia an 11th minute lead after bashing three defenders out of his path on the way to the try-line and dotting down in the left-hand corner.

Lock Bogdan Defokto then burrowed over with his pick and go, this time converted by fly-half Yuri Kushnarev.

Soon after, Namibia bounced back after a good backline move which saw slick interplay and handling result in Chrysander Botha crossing the whitewash.

But the Russians extended their lead to 19-5 by the half-time whistle when they were awarded a penalty try after Namibia were found guilty of illegally collapsing a maul.

A two minute double salvo – from captain Vasily Artemyev and prop Vladimir Podrezov – after the interval allowed them to take their foot off the gas for the last 30 minutes.

Argentina XV were unable to secure the crucial bonus point in their 15-10 victory over Emerging Italy in the second match of the day at Estadio Charrua in Montevideo.

Without a bonus point, the Argentina XV lost out on second place to Russia. Italy had a player yellow-carded seconds after kick-off. Argentina XV capitalised on their numerical  advantage with Pablo Quaranta crossing the whitewash with just a few minutes on the clock.

Matteo Minozzi managed to penetrate an otherwise stubborn Argentine defence and ensure the scores were level at 7-7 after Leonardo Mantelli’s conversion.

However, Joaquín Díaz Bonilla’s boot gave Argentina XV a three-point lead at halftime, 10-7. Mantelli gained parity on the scoreboard after the restart with a well-taken penalty.

But just four minutes from time lock Ignacio Larrague scored the winning try for South Americans after some hard work from the forward pack.

Uruguay climbed three spots in the World Rugby rankings after winning the Nations Cup with a 24-14 win over Spain in the final match at Estadio Charrua in Montevideo.

Felipe Berchesi kicked three penalty goals versus Bradley Linklater’s one in an uneventful first-half that saw the sides go into the break with the home side leading 9-3.

However, the game came to life in the second half from the restart with a piece of Santiago Arata magic. Gathering the kick-off, Arata beat four defenders and chipped over the last line of  defence before collecting and skinning a further three defenders for undoubtedly the individual try of the tournament. Berchesi converted for a 16-3 lead.

Spanish lock Víctor Sánchez Borrego made it a tense final 10 minutes for Los Teros when he narrowed the deficit to five points.

But pushed on by their fans, Uruguay held on for a historic victory. It gives Los Teros the confidence boost needed ahead of the upcoming Japan 2019 Rugby World Cup qualifiers.

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