Rugby World Cup: Fervor and play without calculation… Why Chile is already the favorite team of this World Cup

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Bizut The Condors lost the first match in their history in a Rugby World Cup against Japan (42-12). But they seduced the Toulouse Stadium

Rugby World Cup: Fervor and game without calculation… the favorite team of this World Cup

The Chileans scored their first two World Cup tries on Sunday when they lost to Japan. — Lewis Joly/AP/Sipa

  • For their first game in a Rugby World Cup, Chile lost to Japan (42-12 ), this Sunday in Toulouse.
  • Despite the severity of the score, the Condors showed great things, pushed by incandescent supporters.
  • The South American players see themselves as missionaries while their sport remains unpopular in the country.

At the Toulouse Stadium,

« Chi-le… Chi-chi-chi… Le-le-le… Viva Chile… » If you have the chance to go see the rookies of this World Cup in Bordeaux against Samoa, at Lille against England or at Nantes against Argentina, get ready to fight! keep that tune in your head long after you get back home. the House. And at hear the funny whistles echoing in your skulls reminiscent of those of the mynahs, which, upon further information, draw on the folklore and identity of the people of the world. depth of this long country.

Because if, as captain Martin Sigren indicates, “Chile is not yet a rugby country”, it attracts an audience of aficionados that we did not suspect before the games. goals of the Condors in a World Cup, this Sunday at Toulouse against Japan. Although inferior to digital versus the Japanese tide which submerged In the Pink City, the South American fans won. the duel from the stands. Even players and staff were affected. surprised by this popular fervor. Pablo Lemoine’s team finally lost by 30 points (42-12)? Yes. But she sowed joy and seeds of hope on the pitch of the Stadium, crushed by heat.

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“It’s an incredible day for Chilean rugby,” afterwards the nationality selector Uruguayan, former pillar of the success of the Stade Français. It’s historic for us but also for the World Cup. Today I think there were 15,000 Chileans in the audience, it was amazing and maybe the most important thing to remember. to remember, we created something new. We fulfilled the contract.»

Torrealba, the Dupont of Santiago

His team signed; a dream debut by scoring in the 6th minute by opener Rodrigo Fernandez, already in the lead. author of a fantastic achievement, voted test of the year 2022, during the epic round trip qualifying round trip won against the United States. The colleagues of scrum-half Marcelo Torrealba, Antoine Dupont de Santiago, sent each other like crazy, tackled as if their lives depended on it. It must be said that this match represented a kind of liberation after a quasi-military preparation initiated by Lemoine three years ago, with internships in the marine infantry on the way.

< p>“I’hope that we’ve given this a good show, let loose! Iñaki Ayarza, the back with the physique of a model. We are very happy but also disappointed, our goal is never to lose. We made a lot of sacrifices to be there. » Along with Sigren (Doncaster, English D2) and right prop Matias Dittus (Périgueux, French 3rd division), Ayarza is one of three Condors to play. evolve far from the nest, Soyaux-Angoulême (Pro D2). The others are amateurs, play for the Selknam franchise in the South American Super Rugby Americas league and have therefore undergone commando-style training while juggling their other activities.

Rugby World Cup: Fervor and game without calculation… Why Chile is already the favorite team of this World Cup

Francisco Urroz, father of a Chilean player, on the forecourt of the Toulouse Stadium this Sunday before the World Cup match against Japan. – Nicolas Stival/20 Minutes

“It has been really very hard, rewinds Francisco Urroz, crossed by chance on the Stadium square before the match and father of… Francisco Urroz, versatile three-quarterback absent from the sheet this Sunday. My son trained every day at the gym. 7 a.m., before studying medicine and then returning to the field at home. 5 p.m. This is different from other countries that pay for their players to play for the national team. Parents often have to help. » Even if the situation tends to change, rugby in Chile (as in Argentina) remains a story of well-born boys, who went through prestigious private schools.

Four siblings in the workforce< /h2>

But the Condors see themselves as missionaries who have come to France to help their sport improve. “become the second” in their country, behind the untouchable football, like the hopeful Sigren. “Until’ “Now, it's our loved ones and fans who came to see our matches,” says the solid center Matias Garafulic, one of the representatives of the four siblings in the squad (his brother Nicolas, injured, is forfeited for the competition). Today, our meeting was broadcast on a free channel in the country and the whole world could see it.»

“I am always proud of my players, I know where from. they come, all the effort they made to be here, recalls Lemoine. But today, I saw players like I didn’t know them, they went up a notch. I return to the hotel with a beautiful image of them.”

Face to face stronger Japanese but far from the team that surprised the world in 2015 and then in 2019 (quarter-final at home), the 22nd nation in the world did not go the distance, with two tries conceded. s in the last 10 minutes. She also paid for it. dear to his two yellow cards in the first period, the first of which was very, very avoidable, on a tackle at 1:30. delay of Dittus. If you add a few committed forwards to the key moments, you draw a picture to almost full of what must be called rookie mistakes. their lap of honor, before the reunion with families and friends who came in large numbers. “Coming out of the warm-up, I saw my dad crying, replays excellent hooker Diego Escobar, brother of hard-hitting n°8 Alfonso. This gave me energy and gave me want to give myself body and soul.” To shed a few tears of joy afterwards, like all those Condors, never the first in the history of Chilean rugby.