Saturday, April 26, 2014

CONSUR: Brazil make history by defeating Chile in São Paulo


History was made in  São Paulo on Saturday evening as Brazil completed a first ever victory over Chile in a test match. Brazil's 24-16 win sets up a round two match against Uruguay next weekend in Bento Gonçalves. Brazil's previous best result against Chile was a 16-16 draw in 1964. The result has shaken up the tournament as Chile now needs to defeat both Paraguay and Uruguay and hope that Brazil is able to lose its remaining matches or it will miss out on competing in the 2015 CONSUR Cup. 

Brazilian rugby celebrated arguably its greatest win of all time. Never before had Brazil defeated Chile in a capped international and Brazil has struggled to compete against both Chile and Uruguay since returning to the CONSUR A division of the South American Championship. The 24-16 win was therefore one to be savored by the players and a sign that the hope many have for rugby in the largest Latin American country is true.

As important and monumental as the win was it was against a Chilean side that was notably understrength. Missing were not only Chile's players based abroad but also Sevens players and others who would usually be involved in international competition. With Chile's depth put to the test Los Condores were 

Chile did not have a good match and could very well have come out on top. Handling errors regularly let Los Condores down as try scoring opportunities were blundered. Colder than normal conditions made the ball harder to control but what ultimately cost Chile was not itself but the opposition as Brazil was the stronger side in  the set-piece to tear-apart the stereotype that it cannot scrum or compete at lineouts.

Brazil dominated the set-piece to win two penalty tries from scrums and also disrupt Chile by winning lineouts against the throw. Early on it did not appear that Brazil would come out on top as Chile went 6-0 ahead with two penalties which the visitors had won by being faster around the park. Brazil was forced to dig deep as two players were yellow carded but with Chile unable to convert the advantage into tries Brazil held on to mount a come back and take the lead with a penalty try after Chile had failed to engage correctly in a scrum and forcing it to the ground. 

Brazil would make it 10-6 at half time by landing a penalty but the visiting Condores started the second half the better side by scoring an early try near the left corner. The conversion attempt sailed wide which made it a one point game. Brazil did not take long to reclaim the lead as horrible play from Chile from the kick-off saw Los Condores knocking-on and giving Brazil an attacking change. Shortly thereafter Brazil claimed its second penalty try from a scrum to go ahead 17-11. 

The match entered the final minutes with a nervous Brazil holding on to a six point advantage. Two minutes from full time the result was sealed as Brazil went over for a converted try from a pick-and-go to leave Chile stunned. Chile did hit back straight away to give itself a chance but the try scored in the left corner was not converted thus making it 24-16 with less than a minute left to play. Having won a scrum shortly after the restart Brazil kicked the ball out to complete a history making win. 

Implications from the result for the IRB World Rankings are to be varied. Brazil is to rise to 33rd position with a new rating of 32,10 points while Chile will be unchanged but with a new rating of 54,29 points. It would have fallen if the Netherlands had not lost against Germany earlier in the day.

Brazil
Tries: Penal Try (2) and Ige
Conversions: Leandro Castiglioni, Pedro di Pilla and Lucas Tranquez
Penalty: Pedro di Pilla
Yellow cards: Jardel Veroratto and Lucas Tranquez

Chile
Tries: Oyarzún e Fernandez
Penalties: Nordenflycht (2)

Brazil
1 Chabal, 2 Nativo, 3 Jarda, 4 Rosa, 5 Bruxinho, 6 Ige, 7 Saulo, 8 Nick, 9 Leco, 10 Di Pilla, 11 Boy, 12 Sandy, 13 Martin, 14 Zé, 15 Coghetto

Reserves: 16 Cocão, 17 Monte, 18 Banana, 19 Abud, 20 Pedrinho, 21 Bruninho, 22 Torosso, 23 Matias

Chile
1 Venegas, 2 Amigo, 3 Oyarzún, 4 Bursic, 5 Mayol, 6 Soto, 7 Ignacio Silva, 8 Petrowitsch, 9 Hassenlechner, 10 Onetto, 11 Zunino, 12 Larenas, 13 Nordenflycht, 14 Contreras, 15 Fernández

Reserves: 16 Niedmann, 17 Alonso, 18 Argandoña, 19 Francia, 20 Rojas, 21 Triviña, 22 Burgos, 23 Fernández.

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