Rugby World Cup 2023 Until the End

by Alain Chivilò

 

How to describe the last semifinal of the RWC 2023 in few words? Until the end for both teams. Incredible match, always open until the conclusion even when it seemed to have taken the direction across the English Channel,  seeing the white cliffs of Dover.

England vs South Africa

As the first sem, even in the second one, on the pitch no fear, no hesitation but, always a play face to face.

England in the best match of the RWC 2023, South Africa in the worst but, it won. Only one point of difference for a very, very tough semifinal.

England played aggressively and kept errors to a minimum. Every player in the right place gives his best. Always ahead from 3′ of the first half until 53′ of the second with Owen Farrell’s drop goal: 15-6. Twenty-seven minutes to go plus (?), according to the play, is long, long time. At this moment, it looked England might do it but, the Springboks meanwhile believed, stayed and stayed.

Could the substitutions have changed the final part of the second half and the match? It could be, in the sense that from 43′ to 51′ South Africa made six substitutions and continued with further ones. England replaced 3 players at 53′ minute and more. For England the initial chemistry has been changed but, the energies in several players have decreased.

Back to the sem, South Africa’s forcing, in alternating phases, paid off at 69′ with the first try of the match and subsequent conversion: 15-13. The Sprinboks scrum was making pressure in those minutes with profit: a sought and desired penalty finally arrived with the possibility of overtaking. Andre Pollard made it at 78′: 15-16. England’s last attack died in fatigue with clear frustration and disappointment. South Africa walked on to the final.

South Africa 16 vs England 15

South Africa:

Tries RG Snyman (69′) – Conv Handre Pollard (70′) – Pens Manie Libbok (21′), Handre Pollard (35′, 78′)

England:

Pens Owen Farrell (3′, 10′, 24′, 39′) – DGs Owen Farrell (53′)

England gave the best for circa 70′, South Africa has been always present in a clinical way but, probaly it would have lost vs France playing like this.

Sport, Life: a matter of cm or inch.

Argentina vs England for bronze friday 27 evening, Stade de France. England arrived playing in a stronger way than Los Pumas. Getting over the disappointment, injuries and fatigue will be the main focus for both.

New Zealand vs South Africa for the title of World Champion, saturday 28 evening, Stade de France. World ranking n 2 vs n 1. The Winners will be the first to reach and win 4 titles in the competition.

Springboks will not play as in the semi-final. They will be much more fearsome as for example vs France. All Blacks will have to maintain continuity, intensity and resistance until the end and until the final referee’s whistle. In conclusion: 50% – 50%.

The challenge is always open: Try, Essai.

 

©AC, NDSL, AM, Alain Chivilo

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