For four years, they had thought of nothing other than to win these games, said Esteban Meneses.
Meneses is the coach of the rugby national team of Uruguay, referring to the games at the current World Cup in Japan. After Uruguay have their first World Cup game behind them, it is clear: The winning has worked out. And that's the biggest surprise so far at the World Cup.
The Uruguayan side, consisting of amateurs, defeated Fiji 30:27 on Wednesday and celebrated the biggest success in their history. Fiji may be a small island nation, but rugby, the national sport, is currently number ten in the world.
"That's surreal, it's outstanding," said Uruguay's Felipe Berchesi, who scored 15 points in Kamaishi and was named player of the duel. The news agency Reuters described the result as "seismic".
"Proved that we can beat big opponents, too"
Four years ago, Uruguay lost at the World Cup in England all games, including against Fiji (15:47). The score of the World Cup: 30: 226. At that time there were four professional players in the Uruguay squad, otherwise there were only amateurs. Since then, a lot has happened, several athletes play in the US, at the World Cup in Japan, the nation with 18 professionals.
Captain Juan Manuel Gaminara looked visibly moved after defeating Fiji. "Today in professional rugby it's easier to hire a player from the Pacific than a Uruguayan, we have equally motivated players, but because nobody knows us, no one really cares about us, it's changing today," said the 30-year-old. who still plays in Uruguay: "We have proven that we can beat even big opponents."
Uruguay will face Georgia next on Sunday. Another game that was thought of for four years.