Brasil’s reigning men’s champions Urutau have stamped their authority after a tight first-up loss, responding with a record 82-6 win against Umuarama.
The Screaming Owls had been undefeated in rugby league since 2018 until a 30-26 defeat against Maringá in September.
That loss clearly lit a fuse for the proud club from São José dos Pinhais, who dished out a merciless beating to newcomers Umuarama, from the same state of Paraná, but situated 580km away.
Club captain Murilo Manzutti led the way with three tries and eight goals for a personal haul of 28 points, as nine players from Urutau managed to cross the tryline.
The electrifying Domingues brothers – Gabriel, Philipe and Lucas – were also back in force after playing a huge role in Urutau’s previous campaigns.
Gabriel notched two tries from fullback and Philipe scored one from centre.
Five-eighth Gabriel Polmonari – a paramedic by profession – was another who kept the scoreboard busy, with two tries and three goals for 14 points.
Umuarama, who have been courageous in all games so far in their debut season, were made to work harder by just 14 players making the long journey east.
Robson Silva notched Umuarama’s sole try, converted by Fabio Alves.
Umuarama will now rebuild for a return bout when Urutau visits their hometown, not far from the Paraguayan border.
The big win by Urutau and a commanding 50-18 win by nines champions São Paulo Raiders against Rio Sharks presents plenty of food for thought, considering Maringá and Taubaté are undefeated.
Opinions on which of the four clubs will lift the trophy on the second weekend in December are split.
Next week will perhaps solve part of the riddle when Taubaté hosts a local derby against São Paulo Raiders.
The 150km that separates the two clubs is the smallest distance between any current league clubs in Brasil, though this is expected to change when Wolves (from Santa Bárbara d´Oeste) officially enter the fray.
URUTAU 82 (Murilo Manzutti 3, Gabriel Domingues 2, Gabriel Polmonari 2, Marcos Bett 2, Alexande de Paula 2, Philipe Domingues, Wesley Antunes, Luiz Henrique Brendo, Braian Vito tries; Murilo Manzutti 8, Gabriel Polmonari 2, Alexande de Paula goals) defeated UMUARAMA 6 (Robson Santos try; Fabio Alves goal) at São José dos Pinhais.