Fri 10 Oct 2014 | 11:56

RWC Preview: Uruguay v Russia

RWC Preview: Uruguay v Russia
Fri 10 Oct 2014 | 11:56
RWC Preview: Uruguay v Russia
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Uruguay host Russia in the final qualifier for the 2015 World Cup on Saturday, with the winners to be parachuted into the toughest pool at next year's showpiece tournament.

Russia travel to Montevideo with a narrow one-point lead after beating Uruguay 22-21 in the first leg in Krasnoiarsk.

The winners of the second leg in Estadio Charrua will become the 20th and final country qualified for the World Cup.

After three years, 203 matches involving 83 teams and around 3,000 players, it comes down to 80 minutes for the final qualifier spot, the winning minnows earning the dubious privilege of lining up in Pool A alongside Australia, England, Wales and Fiji.

"We didn't expect anything less from Uruguay. We knew they were going to come out firing," Vasily Artemyev, the Irish-raised former Northampton wing/fullback, said of the first leg.

"Uruguay are really fired up for qualifying for the World Cup. We got just what we expected."

Raphael Saint-Andre's Russia showed more ambition with ball in hand, but only managed one try, through prop Grigory Tsnobiladze. The rest of the points in the tension-filled first leg came from the boots of respective flyhalves Yury Kushnarev and Felipe Berchesi.

Artemyev added: "We weren't quite precise enough on a couple of occasions. We could have scored a couple of more tries. We looked quite dangerous with the ball when we had it, but we were still lacking a bit of discipline. At some point of the game we were two men down because of yellow cards.

"It's going to be a tough away fixture in Montevideo. We're excited to go away to South America to play our rugby over there.

"It's going to come down to the spirit at the end of the day, whoever wants it more."

Uruguay captain Nicolas Klappenbach said his team had not been left downhearted by the defeat in Siberia.

"It was a pretty positive result because it was close to a win, but you think about it and we could have won," the 32-year-old hooker told El Pais newspaper.

"We left feeling angry because we had chances to win and we couldn't take advantage of them."

Klappenbach was in no doubt over what was required at the weekend.

"We have to play an almost perfect game to be able to win, turn around the result and so qualify at home in front of our own fans,"

Russia are seeking to qualify for their second World Cup after competing in New Zealand in 2011, while Uruguay took part in 1999 and 2003.

"For everyone who's supported rugby in Uruguay, it would be of the utmost importance to qualify for the World Cup," said Klappenbach.

"It would be very good for Uruguay to have a team in the tournament because it brings financial support, publicity and everything needed so that a sport as beautiful as rugby continues to grow around the country."

Uruguay and Russia remain minnows alike on the world stage.

But the winners of Saturday's match face a daunting prospect in Pool A, playing Wales at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium on September 20, Australia at Villa Park a week later, Fiji at Stadiummk on October 6 and finally England at the Manchester City Stadium four days later.

IRB chairman Bernard Lapasset praised the qualification process as "fantastic".

"We have seen some incredible matches at all levels of the international game with every IRB member union having the opportunity to win a place in England next year," Lapasset said.

Teams:

Uruguay: 15 Gastón Mieres, 14 Santiago Gibernau, 13 Joaquín Prada, 12 Alberto Román, 11 Jeronimo Etcheverry, 10 Felipe Berchesi, 9 Agustín Ormaechea, 8 Alejandro Nieto, 7 Diego Magno, 6 Juan Gaminara, 5 Rodrigo Capó, 4 Santiago Vilaseca, 3 Oscar Durán, 2 Nicolás Klappenbach, 1 Alejo Corral
Replacements:  16 Arturo Avalo, 17 Carlos Arboeya, 18 Franco Lamanna, 19 Mathias Palomeque, 20 Juan de Freitas, 21 Leandro Leivas, 22 Alejo Duran

Russia: 15 Vasily Artemyev, 14 Denis Simplikevich, 13 Mikhail Babaev, 12 Dimitry Gerasimov, 11 Vladimir Ostroushko, 10 Yuri Kushnarev, 9 Alexander Ianyushkin, 8 Viktor Gresev, 7 Andrei Ostrikov, 6 Andrei Temnov, 5 Kirill Kulemin, 4 Alexander Voytov (captain),  3 Andrei Igretsov, 2 Valery Tsnobiladze, 1 Grigory Tsnobiladze.
Replacements: 16 Vladislav Korshunov, 17 Evgeni Pronenko, 18 Andrei Garbuzov, 19 Pavel Butenko, 20 Igor Klyuchnikov, 21 Alexey Shcherban, 22 Ramil Gaisin

Date: Saturday, October 11
Venue: Charrua Stadium, Montevideo
Kick-off: 16.00 (18.00 GMT; 22.00 Russian time)
Referee: Romain Poite (France)

Source: AFP

PV: 79
Rwc Preview: Uruguay V Russia | Rugby365