Berchesi converted to drag his side within a point and Uruguay found their way over the line two more times and into the lead. It was scored by his dad, Diego, the oldest ever try scorer in international rugby. The power of the pack in the scrum and at set pieces was a vital part in their play that day and will be again come the World Cup. Ortega played in that win over Russia but then told the Uruguay federation that he did not want to be considered for selection, despite his name already being registered to play at the World Cup.
His reasons were said to be personal but he and his club, Castres, had to deny he had been pressured to stand down. Outside the pack, the half-back pairing of Ormaechea and Berchesi are key for Uruguay. Uruguay have never beaten Argentina in a Test but against an Argentinian XV earlier this month, Ormaechea and Berchesi were the stars on show.
Berchesi kicked five penalties, two of which came in the final 16 minutes — thus demonstrating once more a capacity to kick under pressure — while Ormaechea again showed his ability to get over the line with a well-taken try. The rest of the Uruguay team will be made up of players who strive to find a balance between rugby and the rest of their lives, lives which have been captured in a documentary by the former Uruguay player, Luis Ara.
Others were fired for asking for too much time off for tours and training. That unbelievable feeling may not last too long as their results over the last 12 months have been mixed. They may have beaten that Argentina side and Russia, as well as Paraguay and Brazil, but they have lost nine other matches, against the likes of Georgia, Fiji Warriors and Chile.
All of which means Uruguay have been handed odds of 5, to win the tournament, but the bookies could add another couple of zeros to that and still sleep easy at night. I know the whole world is surprised, but in our camp we knew we could do it.
South Africa coach Heyneke Meyer apologised to his country. It was unacceptable and I take full responsibility. They could easily have gone for the penalty. They went for the scrum, which should be a South Africa strength. Throughout the game, the Japanese team took the South Africans on, man on man.
Thousands of supporters have filled fanzones around the country to watch matches on big screens outdoors, while those inside have often resembled football crowds such has been the number of replica shirts on display.
Back in Brighton, Springbok fans applauded the Japan team on to their bus as they travelled back to their Warwick base. An earlier version said that Japan had never beaten a southern hemisphere side.
The writer meant Japan had never beaten a Tri Nation side, and so this has been corrected to say a leading southern hemisphere side. Order by newest oldest recommendations. Show 25 25 50 All. Threads collapsed expanded unthreaded.