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Friday, October 15, 1999 Published at 18:44 GMT 19:44 UK

Uruguay restrict woeful Boks

Brendan Venter: Sent of for stamping

South Africa 39-3 Uruguay

World champions South Africa have been held to less than 40 points by newcomers Uruguay in a match strewn with Springbok errors and marred by the sending off of centre Brendan Venter.

South Africa were in simply appalling form, making a host of unforced handling mistakes, often with an open try-line begging, and allowing themselves to be turned over time and again by the pugnacious South Americans.

What was essentially a meaningless group match took on an air of celebration for the Uruguayans as they saw off their retiring captain Diego Ormaechea - at 40 the oldest man in the tournament - with a rousing performance that proved they can live with the big guns.

Stamping incident

The Springboks may have thought that things could not be worse after their lacklustre performance against Spain, but on a day when possible quarter-final opponents England put 101 points on Tonga, it will give coach Nick Mallett plenty to worry about.

[ image: Diego]
First half tries came to Deon Kayser, Robbie Fleck and captain Joost van der Westhuizen, but even the latter's touchdown involved a suspect double movement.

And in a worrying development, Venter - a crucial Springbok playmaker - was sent off for apparently stamping on the head of a Uruguayan forward.

He may have a case for appeal, because it seemed as if he had intended to stamp on the ball just as it was moved. He could also receive a suspension that would put him out of most of the knockout stage of the Cup.

It was expected that South Africa would come out for the second half with all guns firing, but the 14-man outfit seemed even more dispirited and disjointed as they bumbled and fumbled their way to a 60th minute try by replacement lock Albert van den Berg.

Van den Berg was back again shortly before full time at the end of the Springboks' one fluid move of the half to make the scores resemble something closer to the expected cricket score.

But even then the reigning champions had to endure the humiliation of desperately defending their own line against repeated Uruguan scrummages on their line.

Before the match, Ormaechea, who had his debut in 1978, said that this would be his last international.

"I never thought that Uruguay could ever play in the World Cup and I know that whatever happens against South Africa we will be able to arrive home in Montevideo with our heads held high," he said.

After this performance, the men from South America will be able to hold those heads higher than expected.


South Africa

15 Percy Montgomery; 14 Deon Kayser, 13 Robbie Fleck, 12 Brendan Venter, 11 Pieter Rossouw; 10 Henry Honiball, 9 Joost van der Westhuizen (captain); 8 Bobby Skinstad, 7 Andre Venter, 6 Rassie Erasmus, 5 Mark Andrews, 4 Krynauw Otto, 3 Cobus Visagie, 2 Naka Drotske, 1 Os du Randt

Replacements: 16 Breyton Paulse, 17 Pieter Muller, 18 Werner Swanepoel, 19 Andre Vos, 20 Albert van den Berg, 21 Ollie Le Roux, 22 Chris Rossouw.


Alfonso Cardoso, Juan Menchaca, Pedro Vecino, Martin Mendaro, Pablo Costabile, Diego Aguirre, Fernando Sosa Diaz, Rodrigo Sanchez, Diego Lamelas, Pablo Lemoine, Juan Carlos Bado, Mario Lame, Nicolas Grille, Martin Panizza, Diego Ormaechea.

Replacements to be named.

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