The last two remaining Quarter-Final Rugby World Cup matches are now done & dusted where we’ve just witnessed something that was so extraordinary & unreal to watch. England saw off Fiji’s 2nd half comeback bid (30-24) while current champs Springboks just locked up the doors of the host nation France with a one-point win (28-29) – having came from a few points down at half-time (22-19) that sets up a 2019 Final rematch against England for semi-final 2 this Sunday AM.
Hats off to England with the win where they’re the one and only Northern Hemisphere team in the hunt for that Webb Ellis Cup after the eliminations of France, Wales & Ireland. They fired off really well to bring in the early big points as they can while their opponents were playing catch up. Yes, they may have been under threat at times, having scored no tries in the 2nd half. But England showed that were the better team thanks to holding off their small lead where another series of three-point goals was enough to see them move into the last four v Boks.
Also, how good was the Boks who absolutely broke the home nation’s hearts in front of their national stadium as the defending champs are still chasing World Cup title No.4. Gotta love their fight back and the way they controlled with the ball before the rewards were there to see every time when given the opportunity. Yes, they might have suffered some ill-discipline earlier on but they kept on scoring while showing excellent defense to stop the French in its tracks with the close win.
Meanwhile, as said with the host nation, it’s hard to see a loss at home when they came in this tournament as one of the few favourites to lift the trophy alongside Ireland & South Africa. The French opened the scoring account first as reflected with their first half display, having never been out of place to try and stop the Boks from going past their lane. But sadly the French’s 2nd half form just wasn’t the same; Yes, they’ve made some lost time as said where France were still alive all along but couldn’t escape them in the end.
And for Fiji, love their response to the opposition’s early start, especially when looking to close England down after half-time in the hope of a late win. But if the Flying Fijians scored the big points first that reflects a full 80 performance, then they would’ve knocked England out where they’ve made this deep into the last 8 thanks to some excellent growth via Fijian Drua in Super Rugby. Sadly, it’s too little, too late when they levelled the scorecard before England went on to rebound by extending their lead a bit further before their elimination was confirmed that would’ve seen Fiji round out an all Southern Hemisphere semis shootout.
All in all, here’s a few questions that we’re about to see ahead of the weekend’s semi-finals. Can the All Blacks put in another amazing show like they did the other day v World No.1 Ireland en route towards the main event final for the first time since 2015? If not, will it be Michael Cheika’s turn this time as the Los Pumas coach? Having lost to the ABs once in a World Cup match back in 2015 when the Wallabies had to settle as runners-up. Plus, will England go one better and make the Boks pay after their 2019 Final loss to the reigning champs in Japan under coach Steve Borthwick? Or can the Boks go all the way for their fourth possible big final & hopefully light up Paris once again like 2007 since they got the favourites cap on?
We shall find out by Sunday AM where two winners will go into the main event for the Webb Ellis Cup trophy while the losing two teams will play in the Bronze final for third place going into the last weekend of October.