Namibia reach all-time rankings high
NATIONS CUP WRAP: The World Rugby Nations Cup will go down to the wire as Russia and Namibia claimed dramatic wins over Argentina XV and host Uruguay respectively on Sunday, leaving all four teams tied with one win each going into the final round of fixtures.
In a thrilling first encounter of the day at Estadio Charrua in Montevideo, Russia scored an impressive 17 unanswered points in the first 10 minutes, before a further three converted tries before half-time sent them into the break 38-14 up against Argentina XV.
The South American side fought back in the second half, scoring four tries to cut the deficit to five points, but a 76th-minute penalty from Sergei Ianiushkin sealed the 48-40 win.
In the day’s second fixture, Namibia held off a strong Uruguay side to claim a dramatic 30-28 victory. After starting off strongly, the African side went into half-time leading 17-7. They maintained their lead throughout the second half until the 77th minute, when a converted German Kessler try put Uruguay ahead for the first time in the match at 28-27. With the game drawing to a close, Namibia snatched victory in dramatic fashion with an 81st-minute Cliven Loubser penalty.
As a result, Nambia move up two places in the latest World Rugby Rankings to a record high of 21 with the Rugby World Cup a little over 100 days away.
The two victories now leave all four teams on one win each, with the round-robin tournament set to reach its climax on Saturday with Namibia facing Russia before Uruguay tackle Argentina XV.
All four teams look well-placed to use the important game and preparation time as they look ahead to Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan.