Uruguay’s shock 30-27 win over Fiji at the Rugby World Cup was a triumph four years in the making, according to head coach Esteban Meneses.
First-half tries from Santiago Arata, Manuel Diana and Juan Manuel Cat set up a stunning victory in Kamaishi, with Felipe Berchesi’s unerring boot adding 15 points.
It meant a first World Cup win in 16 years for the South American side and Meneses was in no doubt over the gravity of his team’s accomplishment.
“Yes, without a doubt, we shocked the world,” he told reporters.
“To me that is [the result of] what we started four years ago, to win a World Cup game against a rival of the first level.”
Georgia are up next for Uruguay and Meneses wants to see his men build on the Fiji victory and give further evidence of the steady improvement he has looked to foster away from the public gaze.
“Uruguay needs matches like this one against Fiji and the next one with Georgia. We need those matches to progress,” he said.
“To me, shocking the world is to be able to translate the job we have been doing the last four years against rivals of this dimension.”
— Rugby World Cup (@rugbyworldcup) September 25, 2019
Meneses added: “It means [this victory against Fiji] is the confirmation of a job that we have been doing since four years ago.
“This process is the continuation of the previous one, when Uruguay participated in the World Cup in 2015.
“We have been working seriously and accomplishing goals. Today it was a big step for us. We got this result as consequence of our game.”
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