Uruguay rugby players aim to shrug off Italy defeat with win against Namibia
LYON, France (AP) — Uruguay‘s players must put the disappointment of defeat to Italy behind them if they are to leave the Rugby World Cup with at least one win.
Uruguay had made no secret of the fact it was targeting Italy and Namibia to record two wins in the tournament for the first time in its history.
Leading the Azzurri 17-7 after a memorable first half last Wednesday, Uruguay appeared on course but Los Teros faded mentally and physically to lose 38-17.
“We finished the match dead, it was a long day and we are turning the page quickly,” forwards coach Oscar Durán said. “Obviously we are hurting. It is a moment that we have to pass and hope it passes as quickly as possible.
“We worked hard for this match and made mistakes that we cannot make at this level. We are sad, anguished, going through this hurt to immediately think about Namibia.”
Coach Esteban Meneses has made four changes to his starting lineup for Wednesday’s match against Namibia, which was crushed 96-0 by France last week for a record-extending 25th straight loss at the World Cup.
Prop Diego Arbelo and No. 8 Carlos Deus replace Ignacio Peculo and Manuel Diana, while Bautista Basso comes in for Gaston Mieres on the right wing and Felipe Arcos Perez will make his World Cup debut in place of Tomas Inciarte at center.
Uruguay beat Namibia 26-18 when they met in August and there are nine players in the starting lineup that featured in that match.
Uruguay impressed in its World Cup opener, a 27-12 defeat to France. With New Zealand also to play in Pool A, the match against Namibia is Los Teros’ best opportunity to turn the plaudits it has received into a positive result.
“Winning the next game would be the confirmation of the good World Cup we are having,” Durán said.
Uruguay: Baltazar Amaya, Bautista Basso, Felipe Arcos Perez, Andres Vilaseca (captain), Nicolas Freitas, Felipe Etcheverry, Santiago Arata; Carlos Deus, Santiago Civetta, Manuel Ardao, Manuel Leindekar, Felipe Aliaga, Diego Arbelo, German Kessler, Mateo Sanguinetti. Reserves: Guillermo Pujadas, Facundo Gattas, Reinaldo Piussi, Juan Manuel Rodríguez, Eric Dosantos, Agustin Ormaechea, Felipe Berchesi, Juan Manuel Alonso.
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