Chile produced another impressive performance against Russia in Sochi on Friday that will have made USA sit up and take notice ahead of their Rugby World Cup 2023 Americas 2 qualifiers next year.
Having needed a last-gasp penalty to defeat Russia 30-29 the week before, Los Condores were in control for most of the re-match, running in six tries to the Bears’ four to win 42-27.
It was only when Chile lost three men to the sin-bin in the closing 23 minutes, two of which overlapped, to leave them temporarily with 13 players, that Russia had the upper hand.
At that stage, Chile led 30-8 thanks to tries from scrum-half Marcelo Torrealba, flanker and captain Martín Sigren, centre José Ignacio Larenas and winger Pablo Casas, with Russia’s only reply coming from debutant openside Kirill Panarin.
Torrealba added another and number eight Alfonso Escobar also got his name on the scoresheet but Russia gave the scoreline a more respectable look with three second-half tries. Denis Semikov scored twice and replacement Vitali Klimov crossed with two minutes remaining.
The rest of the points came from the boots of Yury Kushnarev, on his 120th and last appearance for Russia, and Chile full-back Santiago Videla, the matchwinner in the first contest.
Chile’s win sees them swap places with Russia in the World Rugby Men’s Rankings powered by Capgemini with Los Condores equalling their highest-ever ranking of 23rd – a position they last occupied in November 2015.