Chile 33-10 Cook Islands
Chile kicked off their IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy campaign with a 33-10 defeat of the Cook Islands in the second Pool A match on Tuesday, much to the delight of their supporters in the 4,000 crowd at the Stade Francais Club in Santiago.
The tournament hosts were the dominant side throughout the match, showing more intent than their opponents and looking stronger in the backs with centre Francisco de la Fuente and captain and number 8 Benjamín del Solar catching the eye.
De la Fuente opened the scoring in only the third minute with a try, converted by fly half Francisco González, and Chile’s lead soon became 12-0 after full back Juan José Ruiz touched down eight minutes later.
The Cook Islands, who had lost 29-14 to Chile in their previous meeting at the IRB Under 19 World Championship last year, then responded with a try following an interception by their standout outside centre Teddy Stanaway-Teao.
His conversion cut the deficit to only five points, but a penalty by fly half González and try from wing Diego Schachner reaffirmed Chile’s advantage before Stanaway-Teao kicked a late penalty to leave his side trailing 20-10 at half time.
Their hopes took a knock when prop Tara Metuariki was sent off by Tunisian referee Heykel Bahroun for striking an opponent after only three minutes of the second half and Chile soon increased their advantage with a try from fly half González.
Chile’s fifth try came in the 69th minute through replacement Francisco Metuaze when the Cook Islands were down to 13 men with flanker Papa Mataroa in the sin-bin and they finished the match that way after replacement Kaue Kaue’s late yellow card.
His sin-binning gave Chile one final scoring opportunity with replacement Santiago Fuenzalida kicking the conversion to seal the victory. Chile now meet Namibia at the Estadio San Carlos on Saturday 19 April at 16:00 local time after the Cook Islands face Romania at the same venue.
Chile coach RodrigoBoyé: "It was a hard game and we knew they would be strong and play with physicality. They were strong but we managed to contain them. The debut [first match] is always difficult and it was hard to contain the players, but our first 30 minutes were very good and we managed to play to our strength.
"Looking ahead of our second match against Namibia, we know they are a difficult side and they will be reeling from their first match defeat."
Chile captain Benjamín del Solar: "We know them from the previous U19 World Championship and we knew how they would play and how strong they would be. We had to focus on our game and not allow ourselves to be drawn into their game plan.
"We are staying at the same hotel and as in last year we opened the tournament against them. Now that we have played them, we know that we are again going to be very friendly with them.
Chile centre Francisco de la Fuente: "We tried to play with rhythm and discipline. We expected them to be hard and that is how we played. We are very happy with the win."
Cook Islands assistant coach Henry Amosa: "Chile is a strong squad. It was a hard game and we now need to work on getting the confidence of the players up for the next game against Romania. Now that the game is behind, we know what this is all about and we must look to the future and continue working."
Cook Islands captain Alex Woonton: "It was a hard match and after a loss like this it is important to get up and start thinking on the next game. This is a tournament, not a one-off game. We expected Chile to be strong and we did not manage to get good attacking platforms."