Los Teros frustrated the Rugby World Cup favourites during their match in Lille, including scoring an unlikely try early doors.
Rugby World Cup 2023 hosts France might have been heavy favourites against Pool A minnows Uruguay, but it was Los Teros who crossed the tryline first with an early opportunistic try from Nicolas Freitas that gave them a brief but remarkable 5-3 lead.
After France full-back Melvyn Jaminet had given Les Bleus an early 3-0 lead following a scrum penalty, the Toulouse player was soon involved again, but not in the manner he’d have wanted to be.
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Uruguay try v France World Cup
Uruguay had made good headway through their forwards following a line-out just inside the French half, when fly-half Felipe Etcheverry spotted France’s defence was narrow and fired a cross-kick in the direction of winger Nicolas Freitas.
Jaminet did his level best to sweep across to cover the kick, but couldn’t secure the ball, allowing the fleet-footed Freitas to get a toe-poke forwards and burst towards the tryline.
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Freitas then showed great composure to collect the bobbling ball just before the line and evade the tackle of the covering Gabin Villière to roll over the line and dab the ball down – the winger understandably being mobbed by his teammates as Los Teros found themselves ahead after just six minutes.
Etcheverry’s conversion was wayward after some enthusiastic chasing from Villière, but it was the start of what would be a hugely promising first half for the team ranked 17th in the world, and it wouldn’t be the only bright spark of the first half.
With France down to 14 men thanks to Romain Taofifénua’s yellow card, Los Teros thought they’d scored a second on 33 minutes after Etcheverry scythed through to touch down under the posts. However the try was chalked off for obstruction.
But the men in orange still held out under French pressure to trail just 13-5 at the half, and gave France a mighty scare in the second half when full-back Baltazar Amaya dotted down on 53 minutes.