Rugby: “It’s so strong …”, Chile celebrates its first qualification for a World Cup

Winner 31-29 in Colorado on July 16, Chile won its play-off against the United States (52-51, aggregate score) and will therefore play the 2023 World Cup in France (September 8 – October 28). This is a first for Chilean rugby, which will challenge England, Japan, Argentina and Samoa in Group D. There will be three South American nations in a few months on French territory: Argentina and Chile therefore but also Uruguay.

In Glendale, Chile managed a real feat by winning against the Americans (31-29), erasing the defeat by one point in Santiago (21-22) in the first leg. Santiago Videla’s sensitivity in the 75th minute gave the “Condores” the advantage for the first time in the game, thus sealing the qualification of the Chileans. “It’s so strong…the sacrifices this team has made. There were times when it seemed impossible,” Chile captain Martín Sigren said. Chile secures a place at the expense of the United States, which only missed the 1995 edition of the World Cup in South Africa.

All is not lost, however, for Uncle Sam’s “Eagles”, who can still travel to France in 2023 thanks to a final qualifying tournament to be played at the end of the year. Four teams (the United States, Portugal, Kenya and Hong Kong or Tonga who compete in a first qualifying dam) will decide the last ticket for France.

“It’s heartbreaking,” said US captain AJ MacGinty. “We gave a lot, especially in the first half. But the credit goes to Chile. We totally controlled them in the first half. I saw them under their posts, and their gaze was lost, but they fought and it is to their credit. »

Intense happiness for a reborn Chilean rugby

Everything had started well for the Americans, however, who dominated 19-0 after 31 minutes of play, after two tries from Martin Iosefo, transformed by captain AJ MacGinty, who also scored a try.

But the Chileans took advantage of the temporary exclusion of Nick Civetta in the 32nd minute to score two tries (Marcelo Torrealba in the 35th and Matias Garafulic in the 39th), with conversions from Santiago Videla, to come back to 19-14 at the half time. Returning from the locker room, Joe Taufete’e, former LOU hooker, scored a try in the 48th, converted by MacGinty.

The “Condores” responded in the wake of the 51st, with a try and a transformation from Videla, returning to 26-21. MacGinty scored a sensitivity in the 58th, but Chile responded with a try from Matias Dittus in the 65th. Videla’s transformation saw the visitors come back to 29-28. And Videla’s final penalty in the 75th then sent the “Condores” to France and the “Eagles” to the ground. The Chileans were able to jubilate and celebrate this first time! The party promised to be beautiful for the Chilean players.

Groups for the 2023 World Cup in France

Group A: New Zealand, FranceItaly, Uruguay, Namibia.

Group B: South Africa, Ireland, Romania, Scotland, winner Tsonga-Hong-Kong.

Group C: Wales, Australia, Fiji, Georgia, qualifying tournament winners.

Group D: England, Japan, Argentina, Samoa, Chile.

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