For the semifinals, it looks like the South

For the semifinals, it looks like the South

Without adding salt to the wound, this World Cup has caused quite a stir since France was eliminated in the quarter-finals by South Africa. Two fan areas were closed – also due to the risk of attacks. Toulouse and Perpignan had surrendered to the towels, no doubt out of fear of heights.

The event has taken a huge hit, and since the beginning of the week, resale venues have continued to increase, as noted by Jacques Rivoul, president of the France 2023 organizing committee. “A few thousand tickets were placed on our resale platform on Sunday evening, around 11 p.m. » from ? Whatever happens, it is sure to please English fans, the last representatives of the northern hemisphere. Because the southern teams, which have won eight out of nine World Cup finals, are once again strong in the semi-finals.

The Argentines have found a new Emiliano Martinez

If the French fans, who were hoping for excitement until Sunday 28 October, will undoubtedly stay at home, these semi-finals promise to be of very high quality. From Friday evening, Argentina will take on New Zealand at the Stade de France, and then on Saturday, South Africa and England will play at the same stadium.

Although the first half may seem lopsided between the Argentines and New Zealanders, we from the Pumas side do not see things that way. In 2020, they beat the All Blacks for the first time in their history before doing so again, two years later: “It doesn’t mean that if you do it once, you can do it again, but at least we know what to do.”Australian coach Michael Cheika summed it up.

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But still! As the pressure slowly increased throughout the tournament, the Argentines showed great enthusiasm, especially in the quarter-final match against Wales. The improbable last-gasp tackle of Mathias Morrone, who managed to touch Welsh winger Louis Rees-Zammit as he ran for the Test, is one of the icons. Today, just as Emiliano Martinez stopped Randall Kolo Mwani’s shot during the FIFA World Cup final, Morrone is a star on the other side of the Atlantic. But we must also thank Emiliano Bovelli and his foot of unparalleled precision.

Will that still be enough against an All Blacks team who since their defeat to the Blues have left nothing but crumbs for their opponents? But what is certain is that they do not like to look behind them, but rather always point to the horizon, as trainer Ian Foster explains: “We respect Argentina very much and do not live in the past. The Rugby World Cup is actually taking place in the present. »

After disappointment in the warm-up match against the Springboks and a stumble in the opener against the Blues, the Lions were once again what they had always been: angry with the ball in their hands, difficult to move in the rocks, and ultimately as precise as a Swiss watch in their kicking game. With the added bonus of a little extra confidence, from first minute to last.

South Africa’s favourite

The same goes for these South Africans who, even when under pressure, do not change one iota from the game plan laid out by coach Satan Rassie Erasmus. We saw it against the French, and we will see it again against England. Springboks are cold-blooded animals that know how to pressure you even before your time: “The English will have a problem with us.”The coach, the master of warnings, said in a press conference on Wednesday. The match is on and England intends to be worthy of it.

England have not been beaten since the start of the World Cup, certainly in a less difficult group, and are on course to reach a second successive final. Although the game is very restrictive, it has overcome all obstacles and has players capable of standing up to the wrath of South Africa. And so, second row Maro Itoje, who remained transparent throughout the Six Nations, has since rediscovered his joy in putting his hands and head where some cannot even put a toe.

The men led by Steve Borthwick, with a drive like never before, combine experience, youth and belief in their destiny: “We came here to win, that’s what we want to do, and we will prepare as best we can, and we will be ready.”concludes from 34-year-old Courtney Laws, an unfortunate 2019 finalist.

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