Sunday, May 3, 2015

International Rugby: Chile fight back to win in Paraguay

Photo Union De Rugby Del Paraguay
Los Condores completed back-to-back wins in the South American Championship by defeating Paraguay 35-25 in Asunción on Sunday evening. The result secures Chile's participation in the 2016 CONSUR Cup against Argentina and Uruguay. The fixture took place at the brand new national rugby stadium in Asucnión the Estadio de la Unión de Rugby del Paraguay (URP) at the Parque Olímpico and saw the home side holding a half time lead before the visiting Chileans improved to complete a ten point victory. Both teams are to play again next weekend with Chile hosting Uruguay and Paraguay traveling to Brazil.     

An evenly-fought South American Championship match took place late on Sunday in the Paraguayan capital of Asunción. At the mid-way point Paraguay held a 22-21 lead and did so despite Chile having made an impressive start. Los Condoers second-rower Agustín Fernández crossed in the second minute for a try converted by Javier Valderrama.

Historically Chile has had an edge over Paraguay but in recent years investment has seen Paraguay becoming notably more competitive. This was evident in the 16th minute when Carlos Bareiro crossed for Los Yacares in his first of two opening half tries. They were separated by a 20th minute score by Matías Cabrera which Valderrama converted. 

Paraguay went ahead in the 30th minute with a converted try to Hugo Chávez. The lead became 22-14 following a 35th minute penalty to Sergio Alvarenga. Paraguay's superiority at the time had been influenced by the yellow carding of Chilean prop Ramón Ayarza. The same player, however, came back to score a 40th minute try which Valderrama converted to cut the deficit to one point at the interval. 

With their wind at their backs in the second half Chile was a different team. Valderrama but Chile ahead in the 44th minute with a penalty before he converted a try scored by scrumhalf Juan Pablo Perrota three minutes later. Further penalties from Alvarenga put Chile in control as Paraguay was only able to score three points in the second half. 

With the win Los Condores return home to prepare for Uruguay on Saturday May 09 in a tournament deciding match-up. The result in Asunción underlines Chile's involvement in the Pan American Six Nations, as being based on merit, as one of the top six teams of the Americas. Paraguay in seventh, is behind Brazil. The teams are to meet next weekend in a fixture which was won in 2014 by Paraguay.

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