Chile XV defeated Canada ‘A’ 36-25 Friday in an Americas Rugby Trophy match that saw a procession of players sent to the sin-bin.
The match at Municipal Stadium Francisco Ribeiro Nogueira in Mogi das Cruzes, about 65 kilometres east of Sao Paulo, is the first of two for Canada at the new Americas Rugby Trophy. Canada takes on Brazil on Oct. 26 in the three-country developmental tournament, which does not carry test status.
Chile has already won the competition, however, having defeated Brazil 57-36 on Sunday.
At the test level, Chile is ranked 21st while Canada is No. 23 and Brazil No. 27.
Ben LeSage, Lindsey Stevens and Josiah Morra scored tries for Canada, which trailed 16-10 at the half. Cooper Coats booted two penalties and two conversions.
Lucas Bordigoni, Alfonso Escobar and Diego Warnken scored tries for Chile. Santiago Videla kicked three conversions and four penalties. Matias Garafulic also kicked a penalty.
Argentina referee Damian Schneider was kept busy handing yellow cards to Chile’s Ignacio Silva (third minute), Javier Eissman (32nd), Raumundo Martinez (53rd), Sebastien Otero (61st) and Nicolas Garafulic (62nd) and Canada’s Lucas Rumball (12th), Conor Keys (32nd), Corey Thomas (47th) and Kyle Baillie (77th).
A caution means 10 minutes in the sin-bin for the offending player. Chile was briefly down to 12 men at one point in the second half.
Despite the flood of yellow, Canada coach Kingsley Jones said the game was no more ill-tempered than any other between the two sides.
“I think he wanted to set his stall out early, which I understood,” Jones said of the referee. “He yellow-carded a player for them for clearly diving in at the maul in the first four minutes I guess he painted himself into a corner a little bit.”
There could have been more. Jones pointed to Josh Thiel taking a tackle across the face that prompted a penalty but no yellow card.
Jones saw positives in the loss but said the team was disappointed at its comeback falling short. The Canadians cut the Chile lead to eight points late with a late try but conceded a penalty off the kickoff to give away three points.
Canada finished the game attacking the Chile try-line but was unable to score.
“We failed to close it out,” said Jones, whose team had just three days preparation for the match. “Full credit to Chile. They’re a good side, a confident side.”
“A lot of the same [Chile] players that we played against last October. Obviously for us, there’s a few familiar faces but a hell of a lot of new combinations.”
Jones pointed to fine performances by sevens players Morra and Thiel, as well as scrum half Ross Braude and Baillie, both of whom are out of season and have not played much rugby recently.
He was also happy to see Matthew Klimchuk, Callum Botchar and Conor Young see action off the bench.
The Chileans dispatched both Canada and the U.S. en route to qualifying for the 2023 World Cup, their first-ever trip to the tournament. Chile downed Canada 54-46 in a two-game aggregate qualifier last October.
LeSage opened the scoring for Canada, plunging over from close range as the Canadian attacked the goal-line.
Videla cut the lead to 7-6 with a pair of penalties in the eighth and 14th minute. An Escobar try put Chile ahead 13-7 in the 19th minute before Coats closed the gap to 13-10 with a 30th-minute penalty. A Videla penalty on the stroke of halftime gave the Chileans a 16-10 lead.
The teams traded penalty kicks early in the second half before Bordigoni’s converted try in the 56th minute upped the Chile lead to 26-13.
Canada closed the gap to six points with Stevens’ try in the 63rd minute, only to have Warnken touch down four minutes late for a converted try that made it 33-20.
Morra scored in the 70th to cut the Chile lead to 33-25. A Videla penalty three minutes from time made it 36-25.