Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 21st 2015 Contents A47
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CARDIFF---Wales coach Warren
Gatland took a deep breath, then reeled
off the extensive list of players to get
injured in yesterday's Rugby World Cup
win over Uruguay. Center Cory Allen
sustained a "significant" hamstring
injury. Fullback Liam Williams took a
knock to the thigh. Samson Lee and
Paul James had calf problems. Dan
Lydiate had a bash to the head.
Gatland almost forgot that Aaron
Jarvis popped a rib cartilage as well
"I'm OK, though," Gatland quipped,
although the New Zealander must be
both alarmed and frustrated inside.
Wales is facing an injury crisis
heading into Saturday's crunch Pool A
game against England at Twickenham.
Leigh Halfpenny and Rhys Webb---
arguably Wales' two most important
players---were ruled out of the
tournament less than two weeks
before it started, joining fellow starter
Jonathan Davies on the sidelines. Lock
and pack leader Alun-Wyn Jones has
been nursing a knee injury, then came
all these new problems.
"Unfortunately we've picked up a few
knocks but that's rugby, that's
professional sport," Gatland said, "and
there's no doubt we'll pick a few more."
Wales facing injury crisis ahead of England game
Wales' Hallam Amos is tackled by
Uruguay's Francisco Bulanti, left,
during the Rugby World Cup Pool A
match between Wales and Uruguay
at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff,
yesterday. AP PHOTO
CARDIFF---The final lines of the
national anthem were still to be
sung and some of Uruguay s play-
ers were already in bits, tears
rolling down their cheeks.
"It was the first time for the play-
ers in front of 70,000 people and
in such a big stadium," Uruguay
coach Pablo Lemoine said.
And Los Teros rose to the occa-
sion at the Millennium Stadium.
Back at the Rugby World Cup
after a 12-year absence, Uruguay s
team of amateurs produced a display
to be proud of against Wales on
Sunday. The final score---the Welsh
won 54-7---didn t matter to a side
containing a graphic designer, a
doctor and an engineer, among
It was about representing your
country on the biggest stage.
"We wanted to show what we
are made of and how hard we have
been working over the last year and
four years," said Uruguay captain
Santiago Vilaseca, a bank worker
who has forfeited his salary while
playing at the World Cup.
"I think we showed it to the
After 14 minutes, the Uruguayans
even found themselves leading 6-
0 through Felipe Berchesi s two
penalties and were frustrating Wales
into sloppy errors. Could there be
another big surprise at this Rugby
World Cup, a day after Japan
stunned South Africa in the mother
of all shocks?
Alas for rugby romantics,
Uruguay couldn t hold on---and
conceded eight tries in the end. But
the margin of victory was expected
to be much wider and, considering
it was the South Americans first
match against a Tier One rugby
nation since the 2003 tournament,
they left the field with pride.
"The first 20 minutes, we felt
comfortable but we expected some-
thing like that," Lemoine said. "But
we know Wales have too many
options and too many ways to play
"I don t worry too much about
the result because the result is nor-
mal at that level. The feeling is pos-
Vilaseca said Japan s win over the
Springboks served as an inspiration
to the rest of the so-called "min-
nows" of the Rugby World Cup and
that this would be a "good tour-
nament for the Tier Two countries."
"It s not only about Japan. We
believe in ourselves," the lock said.
"We said before the game we had
a big commitment to show on the
pitch what we are made of and what
kind of rugby we have. I think we
"We were not caring about the
result, winning or losing."
The 19th-ranked Uruguayans
have been placed in the hardest
pool of all, with games still to come
against Australia, Fiji and England.
It s a tough ask for a group of
callow players without any World
Cup experience. All but four of the
31-man squad play their rugby in
the amateur Uruguayan league.
Yet Vilaseca believes Uruguay can
cause some problems over the next
three weeks and is targeting the
best performance for last---against
host nation England.
"We are very prepared to keep
an 80-minute game. I think we
proved it today," he said.
"Maybe during some moments
we were low in our physical way
but I think in general we kept a very
"Especially as it is our last game,
we want to show a very big image
"We wanted to show what we are
made of and how hard we have
been working over the last year
and four years. I think we showed
it to the world."
Uruguay captain Santiago Vilaseca
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