After the historic victory over Argentina in the annual Viña Sevens tournament, Chile qualified for the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens tournament for the first time. The annual tournament is the most prestigious on the world Rugby Sevens calendar and offers a place for developing nations on the World Series.
With Rugby Sevens set to debut at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil, a new focus has been given to the modified version of the game with players from around the world hoping to represent their countries at the world’s biggest multisport event.
Chile faced Russia, Zimbabwe and Barbados in their pool group to start off the Hong Kong tournament. Their first two matches went down to the wire, but last minute lapses of concentration saw the “Condors” fall short.
Russia is one of the strongest developing nations in the short form of the game, having qualified first for the tournament from the European group. A tight match with Chile finished with the Russians clinching victory against the valiant South Americans 19-17.
After another hard-fought effort against Zimbabwe, Chile blew away Barbados in their last pool match, scoring 28 unanswered points to reach the quarter finals.
Meeting hosts Hong Kong in the quarter final, a close game saw Chile unable to overcome the opposition. Another tight encounter saw Chile’s sevens team go down 10-7.
In the end, Japan won the development tournament to qualify to the World Series, while New Zealand were the Hong Kong champions and continue leading the standings with two rounds to play.
Rugby continues to grow in Chile, with the Sevens form of the game being the centerpiece of the sport’s summer action and spreading throughout the country. In preparation for the tournament, Chile had taken the bronze medal in the South American Games.
The condors will now prepare for the 15-a-side version of the game, with preparations underway for the South American Championships. Chile will look to follow up from strong performances at the Junior Rugby World Trophy, which was hosted in Temuco in 2013, as well as the success in Sevens matches.