The heat is rising for the third day of pool matches at the IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy in Santiago. The unseasonal warm weather that affected the first two rounds seems to have receded and the autumn has already reached Chile's capital. Yet, it is the rugby heat that has become the buzz of the town and for the two matches at the Stade Français Club.
The tournament format is such that the eight participating teams, which have been divided in two pools play three games each and after that the top team in each pool play each other; the second against the second and so on.
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After two rounds, there are four teams that could advance to the final. Pool B will provide the first finalist when Uruguay and Georgia clash in the first game of the day at 14:00 local time.
This will be a massive challenge for both teams, probably bigger for the Uruguayans as they arrive into this game as underdogs - something that historically hasn’t been much of a problem for them. Georgia, bigger in size and strength, will want to play it in the forwards whilst the future Teros will want to avoid them trying to speed up the game.
“We can play both types of games,” said Georgia captain Archil Kobauri. “We are here with the goal of winning the tournament and this is an important game.
“We have prepared very well, more so after a disappointing game against Korea. I don't know what happened to us, or why, but that is already in the past.”
Inspired by World Cup scenes
Five years ago Uruguay played Georgia in RWC 2003 and won, and the spirit of that team will be present - coach Martín Mendaro played that night in Sydney and flanker Juan Diego Ormaechea is the son of the coach of that team. That game showed that anything can happen in rugby.
Once this game is over, the Chileans will be playing in front of a huge crowd, estimated at 5,000 spectators - in fact, organisers might have to close the gates when the ground is full. The Romanians are confident of winning, and captain Ionel Cazan knows the crowd will be noisy in their support.
“I hope they will clap us in the final,” he said with a smile. “We’ve seen Chile play and they are a good side, but we believe we can play the kind of rugby to give us the win.”
Playing at centre, he will be directly facing one of the finds of the tournament, bearded centre Francisco de la Fuente. He rejoins the team - one of two changes from the last game - and is ready to go. His team has found inspiration in Argentina.
“We’ve been watching a DVD of the Pumas World Cup campaign. They continuously said one game at a time and that is what we are trying to do. Next game is Romania, we don’t want to look beyond that.”
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