‘Phenomenal’ – Uruguay capture the hearts of fans in gutsy defeat to France

Uruguay's scrum-half Santiago Arata after the Rugby World Cup clash with France Credit: Alamy
Uruguay's scrum-half Santiago Arata after the Rugby World Cup clash with France Credit: Alamy

Uruguay’s performance against France in their Pool A Rugby World Cup 2023 clash captured the attention of observers who praised the South Americans.

France was the far more fancied team heading into the clash, but Esteban Meneses’ side put them under the cosh as Les Bleus battled to a 27-12 victory.

Uruguay praised in defeat

France general manager Raphaël Ibanez was one of those who praised Los Teros’ performance.

“The first thing I’d like to say is credit to Uruguay,” he said after the match.

“They played with so much passion and heart. It was a hard battle, but it’s the second win for us in this competition, and that is what is most important.”

Fans on X, formerly Twitter, gushed over the performance of the Uruguayans, with Rugby Analyst and popular Youtuber Squidge Rugby leading the praise, saying it was the South American side’s greatest performance, eclipsing their victory over Fiji in Japan four years ago.

“The Fiji game was remarkable. But today might have been, pound for pound, the greatest performance in Uruguay’s history. To take the tournament favourites all the way and, but for one chargedown, they could have been searching for a winner at the end. Properly heroic,” his post read.

He later added: “Tonight’s main takeaway: ‘Tier Two’ rugby is f**king awesome, the South American teams are incredible, and rugby should be doing *everything* to support them, instead of kneecapping and ignoring these guys at every turn.”

Fellow analyst EK Rugby noted that the performance from Los Teros proves why Ireland have named two strong matchday 23s at the start of their campaign.

“This Uruguay performance is exactly why Ireland named such a strong team against Tonga. Never underestimate the power of a team’s first game of the tournament. Everything is possible,” he wrote.

Magnificent display

Meanwhile, Uruguay’s Andrés Vilaseca captain applauded his side’s effort.

“I’m so proud of my team. I couldn’t ask for a better team to lead,” he said.

“We were fighting against France, one of the best teams in the world on their home ground. I am so proud. This is only the beginning for us.

“We fought for the whole game, but it was key for us to keep pushing France and keep battling.”

The compliments poured through on X, with Tight Five Rugby saluting the side’s defensive effort.

They posted: “That was a phenomenal effort from Uruguay, the better side throughout. Defensive intensity was enormous & looked beautifully structured in attack, which was paired with moments of brilliance. A reminder that they were 58-point underdogs.”

During the game, Wibble Rugby said that “Uruguay are playing absolutely magnificently” and that they are “not just here to make up the numbers and winning some very big moments.”

Meanwhile, former Springbok forward Warren Brosnihan waxed lyrical about the performance on Supersport, saying, “It’s a phenomenal performance by these guys; it’s a launchpad for them.”

Tier 2 Rugby added: “Enormous credit to Uruguay. One of the gutsiest underdog World Cup performances you will see. Even whilst having a tricky time at set piece, stopped numerous 5m drive attempts, scored two very nice tries, and kept a very talented France team to 15 pt margin.”

Commentator Sean Maloney posted, “Uruguay are everything that’s awesome about rugby. Vamos Los Teros!!!! ”

READ MORE: France v Uruguay: Five takeaways from Rugby World Cup clash as Los Teros win plenty of fans

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