The quarter final weekend of the Rugby World Cup proved to be a spectacle. The last match of the round delivered an extraordinary contest filled with fluctuating fortunes. In the end, it was a heartbreak for the French players who had aspired to win the tournament on home soil. But were left sprawled across the field in a mix of despair and exhaustion.

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This outcome serves as another reminder of the southern hemisphere’s dominance in international rugby. South Africa, armed with their wealth of RWC experience, secured a place in the Rugby World Cup semifinals. They are set to face England, the sole Northern Hemisphere team remaining in the competition. Even the most passionate English fan wouldn’t argue that their team represents the best the North has to offer.

The Rugby World Cup quarter finals this weekend showcased the four best teams in the world, albeit in head-to-head battles. The Ireland-New Zealand clash on Saturday would have been a fitting final for any RWC, and the match between France and South Africa was no exception.

It was a remarkable game, featuring the dazzling French, known for their free-flowing style, pitted against the formidable Springboks. Who brought their renowned physicality and strength to the encounter. Right from the outset, the match was played at a pace and intensity unmatched by any of the other RWC quarter final games. And it was France who initially dictated this tempo.

However, the Springboks, despite selecting a team to run. Employed their signature strengths repeatedly to thwart their hosts.

France Dominates in Style-But Springboks Secure Victory in Rugby World Cup Quarterfinals

In terms of artistic merit, France took home all the points, if they had been up for grabs. However, similar to the All Blacks in the previous night’s Rugby World Cup match. It was the Springboks who understood the most direct path to victory. By the end of the game, France’s relentless pursuit of a running game had unraveled. But they persevered until the clock ran out.

The game began at a blistering pace, driven by confidence and hope. Especially when France opened the scoring just four minutes into the match. Cyril Baille was sent over in the corner following an attacking lineout. Setting the stage for a thrilling first half filled with dramatic twists.

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While France dictated the tempo with the ball in hand. The Springboks tested them with high kicks, identifying a potential vulnerability. This tactic quickly paid off with two tries in 10 minutes. Cobus Reinach launched an up-and-under kick amid the chaos of its landing. Kurt-Lee Arendse reacted swiftly to secure a clear path to the try line.

The next high kick, courtesy of Manie Libbok, was another test that Cameron Woki failed to field cleanly. Damian De Allende seized the opportunity, and when he was brought down just short. He was quick to his feet to receive Reinach’s pass from a ruck, scoring South Africa’s second try.

The rugby on display was relentless and captivating. France fought back and equalized four minutes later, with Antoine Dupont tapping a penalty to set up Peato Mauvaka’s try. Although Cheslin Kolbe pulled off a magnificent charge down of Thomas Ramos’s conversion attempt.

Despite having the run of play for much of the first half-hour, doubts may have crept into the minds of the French players, as they found themselves seven points adrift.

The 2023 Rugby World Cup Semi-Finals: Final Four Confirmed

The 2023 Rugby World Cup semi finals have now been officially determined, featuring Argentina, New Zealand, England, and South Africa as the final four contenders. Both of these highly anticipated matches are scheduled to take place at the Stade de France stadium in Saint-Denis. The first RWC Semi Final will showcase Argentina going head to head with New Zealand, while the second will witness England taking on the Springboks.

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Argentina secured their place in the Rugby World Cup Semi Finals after finishing second in Pool D during the tournament’s earlier stages. This achievement granted them a RWC quarter final showdown against Wales. Although Michael Cheika’s team found themselves trailing 10-0 in the opening moments of the quarter final, they fought back valiantly and ultimately emerged as 29-17 victors, effectively eliminating Warren Gatland’s squad from the competition.

On the same day, the All Blacks brought an end to Ireland’s impressive 17-game winning streak in an exhilarating encounter. Ian Foster’s team, which secured the second position in Pool A behind hosts France, initially raced to a 13-0 lead within the first 20 minutes. However, Ireland staged a remarkable comeback, narrowing the gap to just one point at half-time. A second-half try from Will Jordan extended the All Blacks’ lead to 25-17 before the hour mark. And despite conceding a penalty try and two yellow cards, New Zealand managed to hold on to victory, thanks in part to Jordie Barrett’s crucial penalty and some resilient defense.

When France knocked on just outside the 22 after their latest attack, South Africa seized the opportunity. They initiated a breakout from the scrum, dismantling France’s midfield and then launching a deep kick. Dupont was caught by De Allende, prompting South Africa to opt for a quick tap from the penalty.

South Africa Stuns France in Thrilling Quarter Final Clash

In a thrilling Rugby World Cup quarter final clash, South Africa pulled off a stunning 29-28 victory to end France’s hopes of winning the World Cup on home soil. Despite being behind 22-19 at halftime, the defending champions produced a remarkable back-and-forth Test match. Eben Eztebeth played a pivotal role in securing a try that gave his team the lead, with Handre Pollard contributing a crucial conversion and penalty. Thomas Ramos managed to secure a penalty for France, but the Springboks managed to hold on for a hard-fought victory.

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South Africa is now set to face England in a rematch of the 2019 Rugby World Cup final. The winner of this showdown will advance to the final and take on the victor of the Argentina versus New Zealand match.

Meanwhile, England maintained their undefeated status in the tournament. Having topped Pool D by defeating Argentina, Japan, Chile, and Samoa on their path to the quarter finals, where they squared off against Fiji. Owen Farrell delivered a standout performance, contributing 20 points and playing a pivotal role in both of England’s tries. Despite facing a strong challenge from Fiji, England secured a hard-fought 30-24 victory. Steve Borthwick’s team enjoyed a 21-10 lead at half-time, but the Pacific Islanders made a spirited comeback in the second half.

The second half continued similarly, but now the French attacks grew less incisive with each passing minute, every breath draining their energy. In contrast, South Africa began to tighten the screws during the last quarter.

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