NANTES, France (Reuters) - Chile bowed out of the Rugby World Cup with a 59-5 defeat to Argentina in their final Pool D clash in Nantes on Saturday, but they are richer for the experience and ready to return in Australia in four years’ time, coach Pablo Lemoine said.
Chile lost all four of their games, scoring 27 points and conceding 215 in a tough debut on the sport’s biggest stage, but Lemoine believes it has at least put rugby on the map in the country.
"It was an amazing month here," he said. "This Rugby World Cup has given us a lot and put Chilean rugby on a different path.
"It was really tough after last week (a 71-0 loss to England), but the boys worked hard and today they showed what Chilean rugby is about.
"There are lots of things we must keep from this World Cup and take into the next cycle so we qualify for the next one."
Captain Martin Sigren praised the effort of his side to fight to the final whistle and at least come away with a late try for Tomas Dussaillant, their third of the tournament.
"I don’t think the result was what we were looking for in terms of the scoreboard, but what we put out there meant we were still in the fight until the last minutes," he said.
"We missed lots of details – that is what you learn at this level. But I can’t be more proud, being part of this team and leading this group. I am super grateful for this whole experience.
"We have fought really hard to get here. It hasn’t been easy but they have shown resilience to keep on fighting with nothing in return. That is what makes me proud."
(Reporting by Nick Said; Editing by Hugh Lawson)