Fly-half Rodrigo Fernandez booked his place in history
It was a try to warm the cockles. Just five minutes into their tournament debut and we saw Chile score their first Rugby World Cup try.
It was a little untidy, not that it started that way. Full-back Inaki Ayarza shrugged off two tacklers and made a searing break down the short side. He passed inside to Marcelo Torrealba on the burst. The scrum-half ignored half-back partner Rodrigo Fernandez, on his left, and instead looked outside but as he tried to offload he was tackled and the ball went to ground.
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Some players hesitated, as if expecting referee Nic Berry to whistle, but Fernandez swooped on the loose ball and dotted down.
Berry awarded a try, believing the ball not to have been knocked on, and that call was confirmed by TMO Tom Foley.
Watch the historic try below.
Watch Chile score first World Cup try
Cue wild celebrations in the Toulouse stands, with Santiago Videla inproving the South Americans’ mood by slotting the conversion.
It is not the first time Fernandez has made a telling intervention. His solo try, in which he beat seven defenders, against USA in qualifying was voted World Rugby’s Try of the Year.
Chile are the first Rugby World Cup debutant since Russia in 2011 and the 26th different nation to feature at the sport’s showcase event.
Chile led 7-0 but their advantage vanished within a couple of minutes as Chile dropped the restart and Japan lock Amato Fakatara scored a few phases later.
After 27 minutes, the score was still 7-7, the Pool D match being played at a high tempo despite the sweltering heat in Toulouse.
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