October 2nd, 2021 – Canada’s Men’s Rugby Team narrowly avoided a shocking first-ever loss to 28th ranked Chile on Saturday evening in Langford, BC after a last-second penalty kick from replacement flyhallf Robbie Povey sealed a one-point win at the death.
The match was the first in their Rugby Americas North #2 versus Sudámerica Rugby #2 series to decide who will meet the loser of USA against Uruguay to compete for the Americas 2 position and also compete at the World Rugby last-chance repechage for the final spot at the Rugby World Cup 2023 in France.
FT – Rob Povey in the clutch! Penalty goal conversion sends Canada to a 22-21 win! 🍁#RugbyCA pic.twitter.com/nIDzqTtcKt
— Rugby Canada (@RugbyCanada) October 3, 2021
Canada maintained a 4-0 winning record against the South Americans heading into the match, including two victories of more than 50 points during the Americas Rugby Championship, however many pundits agreed that this game would be much closer due to Chile’s recent excellent form and stellar development over the last few years.
Fullback Santiago Videla, who normally plays at flyhallf for the Cóndores, slotted two conversions to open the game for the visiting team. However, Canada second-rower Corey Thomas, who recently lifted the 2021 Major League Rugby Shield as Champions with the Los Angeles Giltinis, smashed over the line to give Canada their opening points of the game. Despite a missed conversion attempt from Peter Nelson, Canada were on the board and the home fans were fired up.
Supremely skilled scrum half Ross Braude dotted down for two tries after the half time break, and with two successful conversions off the boot of Nelson, the home side enjoyed a ten-point advantage at 19 – 9 with 30 minutes to play. That said, Chile bounced back after a yellow card to tight-head prop Tyler Rowland after making contact in the air with Nicolás Garafulic gave them a man advantage.
After a kick to the corner, replacement hooker Clemente Saavedra smashed over off the back of a driving maul and, despite a missed kick by Santiago Videla, the game was within five points at 19 – 14.
Next it was the Cóndores turn to take a trip to the sin bin, as replacement prop Javier Carrasco was deemed to have collapsed the Canadian maul. Being down to 14 men didn’t seem to phase the Chilean forwards as Saavedra powered over for his second try of the match to give his side a 21 – 19 lead with only 14 minutes to play.
The next 15 minutes seemed less like a rugby test match and more like the ending of a basketball game. Both teams exchanged possession, struggled with their set-peice and couldn’t control their emotions. With no time left on the clock, Chile took a penalty for sealing off at the breakdown, which gave Povey a chance to slot the winning kick – one that he did not miss.
Talk about leaving it late!⏱
A last-second penalty sees @RugbyCanada steal the victory over @chilerugby in their first-leg!@France2023 | #RWC2023 pic.twitter.com/4S3HPwyjpU
— Rugby World Cup (@rugbyworldcup) October 3, 2021
The two nations will now travel to Valparaiso, Chile for a rematch next Saturday with the North Americans holding a narrow one-point advantage.
1 Djustice Sears-Duru, 2 Eric Howard, 3 Tyler Rowland, 4 Corey Thomas, 5 Kyle Baillie, 6 Lucas Rumball (capt.), 7 Matt Heaton, 8 Siaki Vikilani, 9 Ross Braude, 10 Peter Nelson, 11 Kainoa Lloyd, 12 Spencer Jones, 13 Ben LeSage, 14 Brock Webster, 15 Cooper Coats
Replacements: 16 Andrew Quattrin, 17 Cole Keith, 18 Jake Ilnicki, 19 Conor Keys, 20 Michael Smith, 21 Jason Higgins, 22 Robbie Povey, 23 Patrick Parfrey
1 Vittorio Lastra, 2 Augusto Böhme, 3 Matías Dittus, 4 Clemente Saavedra, 5 Javier Eissmann, 6 Martín Sigren (capt.), 7 Raimundo Martínez, 8 Alfonso Escobar, 9 Marcelo Torrealba, 10 Rodrigo Fernández, 11 Franco Velarde, 12 Matías Garafulic, 13 Domingo Saavedra, 14 Nicolás Garafulic, 15 Santiago Videla
Replacements: 16 Tomás Dussaillant, 17 Javier Carrasco, 18 Salvador Lues, 19 Augusto Sarmiento, 20 Santiago Pedrero, 21 Thomas Orchard, 22 Nicolás Herreros, 23 Iñaki Ayarza
Date: Saturday, October 2
Venue: Starlight Stadium, Langford
Kickoff: 17:00 local (20:00 Eastern, 21:00 Santiago)
Referee: Chris Busby (Ireland)
Assistants: Sean Gallagher (Ireland) & Moe Chaudhry (Canada)
TMO: Chris Assmus (Canada)
Broadcasts: Premier Sports (Canada), Chilevisión (Chile)
2019-02-02 – Canada 56, Chile 0 (Westhills Stadium, Langford)
2018-03-03 – Chile 17, Canada 33 (Estadio de La Pintana, Santiago)
2017-02-11 – Canada 36, Chile 15 (Westhills Stadium, Langford)
2016-03-06 – Chile 13, Canada 64 (Estadio de La Pintana, Santiago)