Uruguay's Coach Bouza - All Blacks 'most difficult team to face for our rugby'

Uruguay's Coach Bouza - All Blacks 'most difficult team to face for our rugby'

Pablo Bouza, assistant coach

On the importance of winning against Namibia:

"Coming to the Rugby World Cup and winning games is very important. We had a difficult pool with France and New Zealand. We wanted to beat Italy and Namibia.

"Now, in the country everyone talks about the World Cup. We have a lot of people following the team and that makes us very happy."


On the match:

"It was a very tough game. They went 14-0 up very quickly and, had they scored again, it would have been difficult to recover.

"At 14-0, there was a lot of ground to make up. In fact, in the second half when we had an easy penalty, we chose to play it because of the points difference.

"In the scrum we knew that they were conceding penalties and at any moment they would be yellow carded. But, in an even match, we would have gone for posts with penalties if they were within range."

On the reasons for the comeback:

"A complicated match was turned around for many reasons. We were the better team, and they found themselves 14-0 ahead very early, due to our mistakes. In trying to recover from the first try we were disorganised. We turned it around through hard work and Uruguay were superior in all areas.

"The pack played very well, but the backs were important too. For the first try, for example, we wanted to go in with the pack and we couldn't because they are a very physical team. So we ended up scoring outside with the backs."

On his personal experience against the All Blacks:

"I played against them with Argentina three times – twice in 1997 and in 2004. Additionally, as a coach with Los Pumas there were 10 games between 2013 and 2018.

"They are the most difficult team to face for our type of rugby. I remember several games we had under control, but they have all the tools and in two plays they can turn it around."

On Uruguay's preparation for the game against New Zealand:

"We are well prepared. It is the first time that Uruguay will play New Zealand. It is one of the games that players will remember most over the years. We ask to play tests against tier-one teams and now we have it. It's an opportunity.

"You always prepare to win a game. On paper and in reality it is something else. Playing as equals for much of the game is part of the objective. We are convinced that we will have the drive and intensity."

On how Uruguay are doing at Rugby World Cup 2023:

"We are doing well. The first two games were very good. Yesterday against Namibia we had good and bad things.

"We have to finish well. This group has prepared a lot, since 2020 with Peñarol Rugby (in the Super Rugby Americas) they have been preparing hard."

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