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Chile’s debut in the RWC - How the team is performing, what are their strengths, and weaknesses?

Analyzing Chile’s Rugby World Cup debut

Chile's long-awaited entry into the Rugby World Cup has been nothing short of a thrilling spectacle. As the 'Los Cóndores' take to the global stage for the first time, their performance has captivated both rugby enthusiasts and casual observers alike. Despite facing strong opponents, the Chilean team has demonstrated resilience, showcasing the immense potential that lies within their ranks. 

Led by their captain, Martin Sigren, the Chilean forwards have showcased their ability to dominate scrums and mauls, often gaining valuable territorial advantage. Furthermore, their relentless work rate and discipline in the breakdown have allowed them to secure crucial turnovers, disrupting the opposition's attacking momentum. This cohesive unit displays a sense of unity and determination that is essential in the high-pressure environment of international rugby. They will be facing a strong English team in their next fixture on September 23rd.

Los Condores qualify for the World Cup for the first time in history

The Chile Rugby Team, known as Los Condores, includes 30 out of 33 players plying their trade locally for Chilean rugby clubs, while the remaining 3 players are based in Europe. Coach Pablo Lemoine, who has strong ties to France, having spent 10 years there and winning two French league titles with Stade Français in 2003 and 2004, has been leading Chile since 2018.

Recently, Los Condores made history by qualifying for the Rugby World Cup for the first time with a tight win over the USA Eagles, a team that has traditionally done well in the Americas and was expected to qualify for the Rugby World Cup. 

Chile the Underdog

On September 10, Chile lost to Japan with a score of 42-10. However, the performance of Los Condores surprised many rugby enthusiasts. As it was their first World Cup, the Chileans showed great determination and resilience. They didn't let their heads drop and instead demonstrated solid strengths. By analyzing the statistics of the Japan-Chile match using Athstat AI, we can identify data points that give a comprehensive understanding of the Chilean gameplay, strengths, and weaknesses. Our models are able to identify the KPIs of interest across the game.

A determined start to the World Cup

Looking at the overall match stats, Japan won by 30 points and scored 6 tries, while Chile only scored 2. However, a deeper analysis of the game reveals that this doesn't accurately reflect Los Condores' performance. Despite the point gap, Chile had a higher possession rate than Japan in both halves (56% vs. 44%). This shows good ball control on the part of the Chileans, handling and on-field perception. Furthermore, Japan dominated the entire first half in terms of territory (78% vs. 22% for Chile), but the Chileans improved in the second half with a rate of 44%, showing the ability to improve in the latter part of the game.

AI analysis shows Chile has an attack profile

Our analysis highlights Los Condores' strong point: attack. Indeed, when we compare the associated KPIs, Chile stands out and demonstrates its strong attacking style of play:

- Rucks won: 98 (Japan, 65)

- Rucks: 103 (Japan, 69)

- Runs: 136 (Japan, 90)

- Defenders beaten: 27 (Japan, 20)

- Meters: 374 (Japan, 311)

With a strong attack and a good mentality right up to the end, what explains the Chilean team's defeat?

Execution and Defense

Chile's defense was the primary factor that hindered their performance in the match. They conceded 9 penalties, demonstrating less discipline than their Japanese opponents. Additionally, they received two yellow cards, resulting in 20 minutes of shorthanded play throughout the match. This allowed Japan to gain an advantage and create opportunities against Chile.

Another reason why Japan came out on top was because they were more capable of taking action and scoring points, as shown by the following:

- Points: 42

- Tries: 6

- Conversions: 6

- Scrum success: 92

- Lineout success: 93

Also, Japan always occupied the field well in both halves, with 78% in the first half and 56% in the second, preventing Chilean attacks from materializing despite Chile having higher ball possession. All in all, the Japanese demonstrated a better strategy and execution when it mattered.

Without a doubt, as Chile gains more experience, their ability to exercise more discipline and execute when it matters will improve, certainly making them a team to watch.


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