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Uruguay qualifies for ’23 Rugby World Cup, Canada misses out

October 9, 2021 GMT

MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay (AP) — Uruguay qualified for the 2023 Rugby World Cup after downing the United States 34-15 on Saturday while Canada will miss the tournament for the first time after an historic loss to Chile.

Uruguay overturned a 19-16 loss to the U.S. in Colorado last weekend to win comfortably in Montevideo and advance on aggregate 50-34.

The Teros will appear in their fifth Rugby World Cup, joining tournament host France, New Zealand, Italy and an African side to be determined in Pool A.

The U.S. will face Chile next year for the right to go to the World Cup as the Americas 2 qualifier in Pool D.

Chile defeated Canada for the first time 33-24 in Valparaiso, after blowing a win a week ago in Langford. There, Chile conceded a penalty with 30 seconds to go and Canada escaped as a 22-21 winner.

Santiago Videla scored a try and kicked 18 points on Saturday for Chile to progress 54-46 on aggregate, with an eye on its first World Cup appearance.

Uruguay started well against the U.S. thanks to a Rodrigo Silva try set up by flyhalf Felipe Etcheverry and center Nicolás Freitas.

The Eagles went ahead with a Mika Kruse try but goalkicking wing Federico Favaro had Uruguay up 13-8 at halftime.

The tension through the first half disappeared in the second in a 12-minute span when Uruguay scored three converted tries by wing Gaston Mieres, hooker Facundo Gattas and another Freitas set-up for Silva to complete Uruguay’s first World Cup qualifying win over the U.S. in 19 years.

Chile had a 13-point lead by halftime after a superb try from flyhalf Rodrigo Fernandez, who caught Ross Braude’s box kick and motored through the defense.

After halftime, Chile hooker Augusto Bhome was sin-binned and opposite Eric Howard scored to close the gap to six, but 14-man Chile also scored a try to prop Matias Dittus from a tap and go.

Videla continued to punish Canada indiscipline, and though the visitors were nine behind with 13 minutes to go, another mistake at a restart gave Chile an easy foothold in the 22 and led to Videla’s own converted try for 33-17.

While another Chile player was sin-binned for the last six minutes, Canada could cross only once.

“Fair play to South American rugby. They’ve really invested and they’re going in the right direction,” Canada coach Kingsley Jones said.

“We’re getting caught up. I’ve made that point before and I don’t think anyone can deny that when you watch the way Chile played. … The competition for World Cup spots has become very very competitive and we’ve missed out.”

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