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Uruguay keep hopes alive, Namibia wait for World Cup win goes on

Full-back Baltazar Amaya scored a brace of tries as Uruguay kept their faint Rugby World Cup quarter-final hopes alive with a bonus-point 36-26 victory over ill-disciplined Namibia on Wednesday.

Namibia led 20-12 at half-time but paid for their indiscipline in the second half as prop Johan Coetzee and captain Tjiuee Uanivi were yellow-carded, while replacement prop Desiderius Sethie saw red.

Uruguay could still make the knock-out stages after their first win in three Pool A matches, but it would take a highly improbable victory over New Zealand next week to do so.

“It’s a first victory for us so job done, I’m proud of the team,” Uruguay scrum-half Santiago Arata told British broadcaster ITV.

“The next game is a tough game against the All Blacks, we cannot rest and need to focus for the next game.”

For Namibia, their long wait for a first World Cup win goes on after a 26th straight defeat across seven editions.

“I think it is quite obvious. Our discipline let us down,” said Uanivi.

“To get two yellow cards and then a red makes it very hard. Our discipline at the end of the day cost us.

“We lost the game but I am very proud of the boys. I know they left it all out there.”

The build up to this match had not been good for the Africans.

Their three previous matches had been chastening experiences, shipping 219 points and scoring only 11.

That included a bruising 96-0 defeat to hosts France.

Uruguay by contrast had earned plaudits and new fans for their enterprising displays against France and Italy, staying well in contention in both matches deep into the second half, before losing 27-10 and 38-17 respectively.

Namibia were also without eight players, mostly through injury.

But captain Johan Deysel was suspended for the head clash that broke France captain Antoine Dupont’s cheekbone, while backrow forward Johan Retief was ruled out after he developed an infection from being bitten by a spider.

And yet Namibia got off to a dream start inside the first minute.

Set-piece dominance

Uruguay spilled the ball in midfield and right wing Gerswin Mouton scooped it up before streaking away to score under the posts.

Ten minutes later, quick hands from Namibia sent JC Greyling scampering down the left wing to dot down in the corner, with fly-half Tiaan Swanepoel converting both.

Uruguay soon hit back as Amaya scored his first try, blasting through Namibia scrum-half Damian Stevens.

Felipe Etcheverry missed the conversion and Swanepoel punished him with a penalty soon after.

Both teams looked willing to run the ball but Uruguay had a clear advantage in the set-piece and used it well to drive over hooker German Kessler from a line-out maul.

Etcheverry kicked the conversion from wide on the left but Swanepoel landed another penalty to give Namibia a 20-12 half-time lead.

The second half was a different story as Namibia paid for their poor tackle technique.

Uruguay’s set-piece dominance made the difference as Namibia’s tighthead Coetzee was shown a yellow card for collapsing a scrum.

Los Teros made the 14 men pay as Amaya acrobatically touched down one-handed in the corner.

The turnaround was complete when a lucky ricochet fell for scrum-half Santiago Arata, who weaved past two defenders to score a bonus point fourth try.

Etcheverry converted both and Uruguay led 26-23.

Two cards in quick succession all but ended Namibia’s hopes of earning that long sought-after first win.

First Uanivi was pinged for a shoulder to the head and then Sethie was sent-off for a head-on-head collision.

Uruguay turned the screw and replacement fly-half Felipe Berchesi picked out right wing Bautista Basso with a chip kick to score in the corner.

There was one sour note for Uruguay, though, as replacement backrower Eric Dosantos saw yellow late on for a high tackle.

Standings provided by Sofascore

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