The Cóndors had a difficult but worthy debut at the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France against Japan, who won 42-12 in the competition’s Group D clash.
The clash, in which the Cóndors celebrated their World Cup debut in France 2023, was full of emotions from the start. The team’s unity was evident from the moment the players stepped onto the pitch at the Toulouse stadium.
One of the first images captured of the condor experience was hearing the national anthem for the first time at this competition. A situation that brought several athletes to tears.
And the start of the duel couldn’t have been better for Chile. With a start from the right sector, Rodrigo Fernández had the chance to score the first try. However, the confusion of the game forced the Australian referee Nicholas Berry to resort to the television official’s review, who finally confirmed the legality of the attempt and the first five points for Chile, which Santiago Videla converted into 0-7 with the conversion of the 7′.
Of course, a minute later, after play resumed, the national defense left just enough space for Amato Fakatava to score a try, and Rikiya Matsuda gave the Japanese the two additional points that made the score 7-7.
In the 24th minute the situation became complicated for Chile. After Matias Dittus made a tackle at the wrong time, he received a yellow card during the test, which kept him off the field for 10 minutes.
With Dittus not yet on the field, Japan managed to pose a threat again and after a good scrum a try from Jone Naikabula was scored in the 30th minute and with Rikiya Matsuda’s two additional points the result was lopsidedly in their favour of Asiatics (14:7).
Minutes later, in the 38th minute, Chilean captain Martín Sigren received another yellow card after hitting an opponent in the head during a tackle, leaving the team led by Pablo Lemoine once again at a numerical disadvantage.
At the end of the first stage, the Japanese dealt Chile a new blow. After Amato Fakatava executed a lineout to the advantage, he broke through the national defense and registered a new try. Then Matsuda increased the lead to 21-7, meaning both teams went into halftime.
Already in the second half, Chile’s prospects seemed to improve. Just as Martín Sigren returned from his yellow card, Japan’s Dylan Riley was sent off for the same card.
When play resumed, Chile attacked from the left zone and after a challenge, the Asian defense gave Alfonso Escobar enough space to score. Of course, the national joy was not complete as Videla failed to convert and the score remained at 50′ 21-12 in favor of the Cherry Blossom team.
But Japan was far from worried and did everything they could to force the Cóndors to score. Three minutes later, after a quick attack, Michael Leitch placed the ball between the posts and left Matsuda responsible for the conversion, which was successful and led to the score being 28:12.
Towards the end, a penalty allowed Japan to form a scrum that gave rise to the game, which ended with a new try for Japan in the 72nd minute, the work of Ryoto Nakamura. Combined with Matsuda’s conversion, the difference increased to 35-12.
And on the final play in the 80th minute, Warner Dearns was responsible for scoring the final try of the game, which Matsuda’s conversion declared the final 42-12.
The next meeting for Los Cóndores is against Samoa next Saturday, September 16th. The next day Japan has to play against England.