Sports News from Sri Lanka: Uruguay pulled off the Rugby World Cup’s first shock with an amazing 30-27 win over Fiji. The South American minnows, who played their first tournament match, condemned the Pacific Islanders to their second defeat in five days to leave their hopes in tatters for qualifying for Pool D.
Uruguay’s exciting upset was a suitable way to mark the opening of the new Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium, built as a reminder of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami town’s coastal fishing city that was almost wiped off the map.
Prince Akishino, Japanese Emperor Naruhito’s brother, witnessed Uruguay’s first World Cup victory since 2003 at the 16,000-seater stadium. In all of the 2015 World Cup, Uruguay scored only two tries, but they had three by half in Kamaishi as they put the miserable Fijians in the sword.
oach John McKee opted to field just three players from Fiji’s opening game against the Wallabies but there was little hint of the drama to come when hooker Mesulame Dolokoto opened the scoring with an eighth-minute try.
A breakaway score from scrumhalf Santiago Arata in the 13th minute shook the Pacific Islanders but loosehead prop Eroni Mawi restored their lead when he forced his way over for his first Test try and Josh Matavesi’s conversion made it 12-7.
However, Fiji continued to come up with errors and were punished in ruthless fashion by their enthusiastic and energetic opponents.
Midway through the first half number eight Manuel Diana rumbled over for a try from a line-out and four minutes later centre Juan Manuel Cat finished off a sweetly-worked move among the outside backs.
Felipe Berchesi kicked his third conversion and added a penalty three minutes before half-time to stretch the South Americans’ lead to 24-12.