In a strange (and very quiet) atmosphere, in which the Irish (and not the French, who would have been playing in the other half) would clearly have been warming if they were still alive, the New Zealanders beat Argentina.
A game built seriously by Ian Foster's players, but without having to rely on their own pot of magic. Thus, the All Blacks qualify for the sixth World Cup final in their history.
The Argentines were eliminated for the third time in the semi-finals. Logic.
The film: Blacks Without Coercion
If we like to think it's important to “build” our success by taking points when they present themselves, then black people were sure of their power. In the face of a disappointing Argentina, Monga's excellent team-mates decided…to go all out.
A penalty 15 meters out, while they are 0-3 down in 10th place? Pénaltouche then… try (Jordan 11). Then we had to wait until the 37th minute to see the black team score the points. The score rose to 15-6, and Frizell's attempt before the break (40+2) decided the fate of the match once and for all.
Without suspense, the New Zealanders took the lead in the second term (trips from Smith, Frizell and Jordan, who had a hat-trick!) and won 44-6.
A week after their heroic match against the Irish in the quarter-finals, Savea's teammates didn't have to work this time. Enough to qualify for the final. Still and always.
Fact of the match: The Argentines had nothing left in the engine
We grant you, we are still astonished by the elimination of France and Ireland, at the end of matches that (already) have become legendary.
And also because we would have liked to see the two best European teams face South Africa and New Zealand in the first half.
With chainsaws… we cut wood, but we don't redraw. And this Friday, it was the adorable puma who introduced himself to the New Zealanders.
The latter, without having to reinvent the game of rugby, devoured the Argentines to a level well below the level we would expect from a team that reached the World Cup semi-finals.
What to keep? Some charges from Facundo Issa and hooks from Mateo Carreras. Hardly more. It is enough to dampen the euphoria generated by “the best quarter-finals in history”, and leave mountains of regret for those who exited the tournament.
Test: End of the ball from…minute 42
The Blacks were already fourteen units ahead at the break, and they realized they didn't need more to bury the Argentines forever.
After the Pumas attack at the beginning of the second period (!), the Blacks went into the huddle, serving Savea Smith who decided to go it alone.
Acceleration over 20 metres, a fake pass, a hook, and now after overcoming Bertrano, the Carreras brothers (Mateo and then Santiago), the stainless steel Aaron Smith (34 years, 124 caps) gave his team a decisive lead from the 42nd minute: 27-6.
Mass was said.