ARG 59-5 CHI: Argentina Triumph Over Chile, Setting the Stage for Japan Showdown

ARG 59-5 CHI: Argentina Triumph Over Chile, Setting the Stage for Japan Showdown

Argentina bolstered their chances of advancing to the knockout stages by securing a bonus-point victory in Pool D against Chile in Nantes. This match marked the first-ever encounter between two South American nations at a Rugby World Cup.

Fly-half Nicolas Sanchez, celebrating his 100th cap, opened the scoring with a try. Flanker Juan Martín González and veteran hooker Agustín Creevy, in his record-equalling 18th RWC appearance for Los Pumas, both contributed tries from lineout mauls, further extending Argentina’s lead.

A yellow card for wing Rodrigo Isgro briefly disrupted Argentina’s momentum, but Martin Bogado’s try after the resumption secured the valuable bonus point. Chile’s hooker, Augusto Bohme, had a try disallowed due to a forward pass, and Los Pumas continued to pile on the points through Isgro and González.

Sanchez’s fifth successful conversion allowed him to surpass Gonzalo Quesada as Argentina’s all-time leading Rugby World Cup points scorer, ending the match with a 20-point contribution. Chile’s replacement hooker, Tomas Dussaillant, managed to score a try, but Ignacio Ruiz and Santiago Carreras added late tries to embellish Argentina’s victory.

Sanchez, named the Mastercard Player of the Match, commented on reaching his 100-cap milestone, saying, “It was very special for me. My family is here, celebrating 100 caps. I am very happy. But the most important thing is the team; we planned for this. We play for the team, not for individual records. We are very happy.”

Jeronimo de la Fuente, the captain of Los Pumas, acknowledged the significance of this match for rugby’s growth in South America, stating, “Matches like this are very important for the South American region, and we are happy. We hope for more matches like this in the future.”

Argentina’s head coach, Michael Cheika, now shifts his focus to Japan, with a quarter-final berth at stake. He remarked about Japan, “They are a great team, having reached the quarter-finals in the last World Cup, whereas we didn’t. So, we are very motivated to be in that position.”

Chile’s captain, Martin Sigren, reflected on the result, saying, “The final score might not have been what we aimed for, but we fought hard until the last minutes. We made mistakes – that’s what you learn at this level. However, I’m immensely proud of being part of this team and leading this group.”

Head coach Pablo Lemoine expressed disappointment at ending their Rugby World Cup journey with a loss but highlighted the positives. He said, “It was a tremendous experience. It was challenging after last week, but the boys worked hard throughout the week, and today, they demonstrated the essence of Chilean rugby. There are many lessons to carry forward from this World Cup into the next cycle as we aim to qualify for the next one.

Mark Z

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